News Column

Amendments to frequency law mulled

July 10, 2014

By Komsan Tortermvasana, Bangkok Post, Thailand



July 10--The telecom regulator will propose that the National Council for Peace and Order make amending the Frequency Allocation Act a top priority in a bid to eliminate impractical sections and legal loopholes.

The amendments will stipulate the regulator transfer the proceeds from all telecom and broadcasting spectrum auctions to state coffers, and spectra should be allocated using more flexible methods, not just through the auction process.

Suthiphol Taweechaikarn, a National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) member, said the regulator had found several impractical sections since the law took effect in 2010.

The NBTC's legal subcommittee is collecting information related to the two sections needing amendment and will pass it on to the telecom committee.

The amendment proposal will then be made to the National Council for Peace and Order by the end of this month.

Currently, the Frequency Allocation Act applies only to auctions for telecom spectra and not for broadcasting spectra.

This has allowed the NBTC to put revenue from the broadcasting spectra auctions into the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for the Public Interest.

The money has then been used to develop broadcasting services.

Mr Suthiphol said the law should in fact apply to auctions of both telecom and broadcasting spectra.

Also needing to be changed is Section 45, which now limits the NBTC to allocate frequencies only through the auction process.

Mr Suthiphol said even though auctions were a good way of ridding spectrum allocation of monopolies and corruption, it should not be the only way to allocate all the spectrum ranges.

Section 45 has hindered the country's telecommunications and broadcasting development, as "unlicensed regimes" have been gaining momentum internationally, he said.

Allocations of some spectrum ranges such as for taxi radio and satellite frequencies do not need an auction to comply with international standards, Mr Suthiphol said.

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(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)


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