BANGKOK, 10 July 2014 – Cable TV businesses submitted a letter to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Wednesday calling for a halt to the planned distribution of subsidy coupons for buyers of digital TV set-top boxes.
Thailand Cable TV Association (TCTA) President Natthachai Aksonradit submitted the letter through the NCPO's public service center at Government House, asking the NCPO to halt the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission's project to subsidize each digital TV set-top box purchase by 1,000 baht.
According to Mr. Natthachai, 25 billion baht will be required for the project, which he said would not fully benefit the public and was prone to collusion due to the its lack of clarity. He elaborated that the decisions to adjust the number of households receiving the subsidy coupons – from 22 million to 25 million households – and the increase of the coupon's value from 690 baht to 1,000 baht, were made without supporting information. He also argued there was no measure in place to check if the coupons are fairly distributed to the households.
The TCTA president also took the opportunity to call for a separate set of regulations for cable television channels to be set apart from those governing digital TV channels, due to differences between the two media.