NBTC prepares for e-bidding for govt internet concessions

NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.
NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.

Bangkok – The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is organizing an auction for concessions in the government’s Net Pracharat program.

NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith has revealed that the commission will use electronic bidding to select companies for the eight concessions in Zone C of the Net Pracharat program. The concessions are worth a combined 19.6 billion baht.

He said that eligible bidders must either hold a third-tier networking telecommunications license or a first-tier license for the operators who do not have their own network. The bidders must also provide evidence that they have earnt a profit from their telecommunications business over the past year, as a way of ensuring the viability of their operations. Bidders that have operated in the sector for over three years must provide income statements indicating they have earnt an average revenue of over 10 percent of the value of their desired concession.

Those awarded the concessions will be tasked with fulfilling a five-year maintenance contract. They are not permitted to charge more than 349 baht per month for home internet services. Secretary-General Takorn said today that currently, there are 60 eligible bidders registered for the auction.

The NBTC will upload the bidding documents to the website of the Comptroller General’s Department within the week. The auction will kick off on August 20th and will conclude on September 14th. The list of winners will be announced from October 8th – 12th.

It is expected that the companies awarded with the concessions will ink the deal at the beginning of November. All Wi-Fi services in the participating villages should be operational by November 2019.

Net Pracharat aims to provide free, high-speed internet services to remote areas of the Kingdom, as part of the administration’s Thailand 4.0 agenda that underlines the use of digital technology to drive economic and social development. Zone C refers to remote areas of the Kingdom.