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NBTC creates subcommittee on OTT regulatory framework

The board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) assigned its subcommittee yesterday to amend a draft of the over-the-top (OTT) regulatory framework that will cover all digital...

The board's resolution represents a significant change of stance after it earlier defined OTT video-on-demand services as part of the broadcast business under a sweeping regulatory framework.

"The board wants to see the OTT regulatory framework cover broadcasting, telecom and digital media," NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said.

OTT includes digital applications or services that operate on internet networks such as mobile VoIP apps, mobile instant messaging, online video and TV, and online music, he added.

The same board approved a decision to add four more members to an existing subcommittee tasked with working on the framework that was set up in line with an NBTC resolution issued in April. It currently...

Mr Takorn said several parties have expressed concern about the draft of the framework and have requested revisions. It is scheduled to be completed in September.

In April, the board decided video-on-demand falls into the broadcast business segment. But at the time, the NBTC's top goals were dealing with "improper content", especially video-streaming on social media, and creating fair competition in the TV industry.

The subcommittee said it oversee OTT businesses based on the following laws: the NBTC Act, the Broadcasting Business Act, and the Radio Communications Act.

The subcommittee ordered OTT operators and OTT platform providers to register within 30 days of the framework being addressed. It also tried to ban advertising activities on unregistered OTT platforms.

Facebook, YouTube and Netflix were among the OTT platform providers that failed to register.

But OTT services involve sophisticated issues and require careful handling, especially in the event of regulatory drafting, said Bunyati Kirdniyom, director of Vriens & Partners.

He pointed to previous attempts to regulate OTT video services by the European Commission (EU) from which lessons could be learned. After two years of studies and consultations, the EU's executive body...