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Thailand looks at unifying telecoms and broadcasting

Thailand’s telecoms regulator is floating the idea of revamping the regulatory framework governing the provisions of telecoms and broadcasting services in Thailand with a unified licensing regime, notes the Bangkok Post. “The approach is needed to recognise the changes brought on by convergence, as well as to provide a flexible regulatory regime to embrace technological and market developments,” said Prawit Leesatapornwongsa, a commissioner at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). “Without implementing this proposed revamp by 2018, ambiguity in defining innovation types of services will arise, making it more difficult for policymakers to govern,” he said, adding that a clear road map for spectrum auctions should also be quickly implemented or it would discourage investments in digital infrastructure in the country. Prawit said the telecoms sector is governed under the 2001 Telecom Business Act, and the broadcasting sector under the 2007 Broadcasting Business Act. “Having separate, inflexible laws doesn't match with the era of technological convergence,” he said. For instance, a service application for broadcasting via the wireless broadband network of telecom operators is proving difficult to determine which laws govern the service. In addition, telecoms operators providing IP TV are required to have an ISP licence from the NBTC's telecoms committee plus another ISP licence from its broadcasting committee. The NBTC is also being reorganised. “Under the conditions of an amended NBTC draft bill, the number of commissioners will be cut from 11 to seven, selected from seven sectors: telecoms, radio broadcasting, TV broadcasting, legal, economics, engineering and consumer protection. The commissioners will be responsible for governing both telecoms and broadcasting businesses, overseeing spectrum auctions and managing satellite spectrum.” Read more

  • Thursday, 20 April 2017

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