Thailand’s telecoms regulator is considering moving to a unified licensing regime governing the country’s telecoms and broadcasting services.
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) commissioner Prawit Leesatapornwongsa said a new approach is needed to deal with the convergence of telecoms and broadcast services and to embrace technological and market developments, the Bangkok Post reported.
The newspaper quoted Prawit as saying: “Having separate, inflexible laws doesn’t match with the era of technological convergence.”
He said the need for a more flexible regulatory regime is demonstrated by the fact that telecoms operators providing IPTV are required to have an ISP licence from the NBTC’s telecoms committee and another ISP licence from its broadcasting committee. He told the Post: “this licensing practice causes operators to pay double licensing fees, with these costs passed on to consumers.”
He said it’s time to revamp the telecoms business and broadcasting business acts because an amended NBTC draft bill is expected to take effect in May.
Prawit also said a clear road map for spectrum auctions should be quickly implemented or it would discourage investments in the country’s digital infrastructure.
The NBTC currently has 11 commissioners, with five on each of two committees, and the chairman sitting on both.