Thai state-owned telco TOT has requested a total fixed and mobile network budget for this year of THB8.3 billion (USD252 million) after adding THB2.3 billion to its initial budget request of THB6 billion. The extra THB2.3 billion is required to move forward with a plan to deploy 120,000 broadband access ports on its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH/FTTx) network this year, the Bangkok Post reports. Network projects have been stalled by the dissolution of parliament in the current turbulent political climate in Thailand, and TOT CEO Yongyuth Wattanasin said the operator cannot wait any longer for the government to provide finance. As the present political turmoil looks likely to be prolonged, TOT’s board on Tuesday voted to use the company’s own cash flow for the FTTx project instead of waiting for state funding. TOT must submit the project to the National Economic and Social Development Board for approval before launching the FTTx expansion. Approval is hoped for by March ahead of a projected June start to the rollout. TOT previously laid out plans to install two million FTTx ports, while its current fibre-optic projects are worth a combined THB37 billion.
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