TOT will invest about Bt3 billion to lay viaducts in Greater Bangkok that telecommunications operators can lease for their lines and cables.
TOT president Montchai Noosong said yesterday that the state enterprise was preparing a public fund to finance the construction of the viaducts for its own use and for lease to telecom operators, which will be required to bury their lines, including fibre-optic cables, in Bangkok.
The government has announced a policy to move all overhead electricity and telecom lines in major cities to below ground.
TOT plans to list the fund on the stock exchange and hopes to raise about Bt10 billion from it this year.
It estimates annual rental income of Bt1 billion from the viaducts.
TOT already has 25,000 kilometres of underground telecom tubes nationwide, of which about 20,000km are in Bangkok.
Last September the Cabinet approved a budget of Bt48.72 billion for the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) to replace 127.3km of aerial power lines in the metropolitan area with underground lines from 2016-25 in a bid to improve the cityscape.
Krisada Boonrat, chairman of the MEA and permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry, said the MEA would shorten the 10-year plan to five years.
The MEA, National Police, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, TOT and National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission yesterday signed the agreement to cooperate in the project.
Korkij Danchaivichit, deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said regulations were being drafted for leasing viaducts.