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Proposed telecom law encourages agencies to release spectra

Jan 19. 2016
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By USANEE MONGKOLPORN
THE NATION

THE NATIONAL Reform Council (NRC) yesterday approved the revised draft of the new National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) law, which aims to encourage state agencies to release spectra for reallocation.
The state agencies would be compensated by the NBTC for letting go of spectra, according to the bill.
The NRC is expected to submit the new draft to the Cabinet before sending it to the National Legislative Assembly for consideration.
Air Chief Marshal Kanit Suwannate, chairman of mass communication committee of the NRC, expects the new draft to come into effect around the middle of this year.
“The new draft will help the NBTC to have more spectra to hold auctions for reallocation, which will benefit the government, especially the 2.6GHz spectrum which currently belongs to MCOT,” according to Kanit.
The NBTC plans to put the 2.6GHz spectrum up for auction for a 4G service but MCOT has said it will return only part of the spectrum if the NBTC properly compensates it.
According to the new draft, the NBTC can reclaim spectra which is part of concession contracts or state ownership for reallocation, and the state agencies will get compensated after releasing them.
NBTC recently gained Bt240 billion from the auction of two 1800MHz licences and two 900MHz licences, with the money to be transferred to the state coffers within four years.
Kanit said under the new draft it was |proposed that the number of NBTC |commissioners be cut from 11 to seven and those be selected from the following fields: broadcasting, telecommunications, engineering, the law, economics and consumer protection.
 

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