Thailand planning 2,000 digital community learning centers

Thailand is uploading its blueprint for a digital future with the government allocating funds for 2,000 digital community centers where citizens will be able to engage in online learning and access other public services to increase participation in the e-economy.

“Creating locally owned brands as well as increasing the effectiveness of store and warehouse management are needed for community enterprises,” said Minister of Digital Economy and Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta.

Buddhipongse was speaking during a trip to Rayong province in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), home to Thailand’s digital industries. He visited a center where 114 villagers were taking part in a government project named “Net Pracharat” (People’s Internet) that trains them how to make the most of the high-speed internet.

Through digital knowledge, locals are able to post their products online to increase sales opportunities, the minister told reporters and the villagers.

In 2017, the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) completed installation of broadband internet in 24,700 villages nationwide. Every village has WiFi hotspots with speeds of 30 megabits per second.

“The goal is to expand the high-speed internet network to cover villages nationwide to reduce the digital divide,” the minister said.

Although the physical infrastructure for a digital economy is now mostly in place, whether or not people are ready and understand how to make the most of the opportunities it can provide is a progressing matter.

The 2,000 digital economy centers will provide training, access to knowledge, and links to government services that can help them discover how to utilize the World Wide Web (WWW) to improve their lives, whether they are farmers, small business people, or entrepreneurs.

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