NCPO changing law to redirect universal service funds, auction revenue

10 Jul 2014

Telecomasia writes that Thailand’s military-led administration, the National Council for Peace and Order, has drawn up legislative amendments to allow the finance ministry to borrow money from the country’s universal telecoms services fund for ‘the public good’, while installing the permanent secretary of defence on the universal service obligation (USO) fund’s board. The USO fund – based on contributions from telecoms and broadcasting providers (including 2.5% of cellcos’ revenues – currently stands at over THB20 billion (USD620 million). The NCPO also amended clauses to clearly define telecoms/broadcasting licence auction revenue as state funds to be channelled directly to the finance ministry.