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Thai broadcasters disappointed at lack of representation

Wednesday 07 Sep 2011
Thai Television and radio broadcasters have urged the newly appointed National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission to undertake free and fair reallocation of broadcasting frequencies, The Nation reports.

While saying that they respected the results of the selection process, Radio-Television Broadcasting Profession Federation president Jamnan Siritan Nunbhakdi (right) expressed some disappointment that no representative from their industry was among the final 11 commissioners selected by the senate this week.

Ms Jamnan explained that its own representatives understand the broadcasting industry, which involves financial circulation of more than 100 billion baht (US$3.33 million).

Satellite Television Association (Thailand) chairman Niphon Naksompop suggested that the NBTC select experts from the broadcasting industry for a subcommittee that would take responsibility for developing a master plan.

Thai Cable Television Association president Kasem Inkaew said the process of creating a master plan should stay away from political and business interference to protect public interest.

Even though many broadcasters, including MCOT and Thai TV3, said they believed that having a broadcasting and telecommunications watchdog was a good start after waiting almost a decade, they also questioned how frequency reforms could succeed since the military retains a strong role in both the NBTC and the broadcasting industry.

There are 163 FM and AM radio stations in Thailand. Of these, 126 belong to the Army, 22 to the Royal Thai Air Force and the rest to the Royal Thai Navy. The Public Relations Department runs 72 radio stations and 62 are run by MCOT.