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Tea Leaves

Bangkok grapples with 'sky spaghetti' in modernization push

Bill Gates' earlier criticism prompts government to bury the city's overhead cables

Cable TV, telephone and internet wiring all strung from the same concrete poles. (Photo by Ken Barrett)

When I first moved to Bangkok in the early 1980s it was normal practice for the utility companies to string telephone wires and electrical cables from reinforced concrete poles installed by the Metropolitan Electricity Authority.

That was not too bad, because there were not too many telephones. The landlord of my rented house in central Bangkok was inordinately proud of possessing one, but modestly explained that he had spent his career working for the post office. He knew who to call.

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