Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is considering a regulatory revamp which would see the provision of telecoms and broadcasting services governed by a unified licensing regime. In an interview with the Bangkok Post, NBTC commissioner Prawit Leesatapornwongsa admitted: ‘Without implementing this proposed revamp by 2018, ambiguity in defining innovation types of services will arise, making it more difficult for policymakers to govern … Having separate, inflexible laws doesn’t match with the era of technological convergence … This licensing practice causes operators to pay double licensing fees, with these costs passed on to consumers.’
The draft bill of the new National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act passed its first reading by the National Legislative Assembly in 2016. A second and final reading is expected by 27 March, after which it must be endorsed and published in the Royal Gazette before taking effect in May. With this timeline in mind, the commissioner is keen for the regulator to introduce a new sub-law to combine the Telecom Business and Broadcasting Business acts together, to eliminate any potential ambiguities.