Asia-Pacific National Broadband Initiatives supporting fixed broadband


The importance of government participation was a key theme at this year's Broadband Forum Asia, held in Bangkok, Thailand, April 24-25. NExsT takes a closer look at some of the current National Broadband Plans and projects across the region.


At the end of 2017, China, the world's biggest fixed broadband market, had some 348.5 million subscribing households. Broadband China was launched by 2013 by the Chinese government with the goal of realizing nationwide broadband coverage by 2020. Government focus on fibre has helped increase the percentage of broadband households with fibre from 21.6% in 2013 to 84.2% in 2017. Investment: $323 billion.


As part of the the ‘Forward-looking Infrastructure Construction Project’, the Taiwanese government is investing some US$1.51 billion in upgrading Taiwan’s digital infrastructure, bridging the rural-urban divide and stimulating private investment in broadband over the next eight years. The wider plan also encompasses information security, disaster-relief communications and cloud computing for public education.


Vietnam is one of the fastest growing markets for fixed broadband in the region, in spite of the fact that the country's broadband penetration rate remains relatively low. A national broadband development aims to cover at least 40 per cent of households fixed-line broadband by 2020. The percentage of broadband households with fibre increased from 47.4% in 2015 to 77.5% in 2017.


The Digital India plan focuses on development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, digital government services, and universal digital literacy. India’s National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project, initiated in 2011 and funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund, aims to provide broadband connectivity to the country’s 239,000 gram panchayats (villages) at an initial cost of $3 billion.


Singapore achieved nationwide fibre coverage in 2013. As part of the Next Generation National Broadband Network (NGNBN).13 network companies have received government grants of up to US$569 million and operating companies, who have to meet fibre rollout and adoption targets, received grants up to US$190 million.


A National Broadband Plan has been developed to address sub-par Internet connection. Although the exact budget has not been determined, it should be anywhere between $1.4 billion and $4 billion. A key goal is to provide connections of at least 10 Mbps to subscribers by 2020 and improve internet speeds across the country, especially in rural areas, with fibre and wireless technologies.


Thailand aims to become ASEAN’s digital infrastructure hub by 2020. In 2017, the   ministry of Digital Economy and Society announced its ambition to bring low cost 20Mb/s broadband access to 70,000 villages (93% of the total number) in Thailand, for which a budget of $571m had been set aside. This rollout was completed two weeks ahead of the original date.


Japan’s government has taken large steps in developing a digital economy. The country’s broadband market is highly developed and competitive, and one of the world ‘s largest. Broadband penetration is at 100 percent with fixed-line broadband growing steadily over the past five years. Up to 2022, continued growth of fixed broadband is expected.

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© Copyright Prysmian Group.

All rights reserved.