NBTC mulls regulation of OTT platform

The Office of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (“NBTC”) eyes on collecting tax from the over-the -top (“OTT”) platforms in Thailand. The OTT is an online service provider platform which provides entertainments such as movies, TV series or TV shows by means of internet network to their customers, for example, YouTube, Netflix or TikTok etc.

The OTT is becoming to disrupt entertainment industry and gains more and more profits. Although the OTT platform has well been involved in the valuable added tax (“VAT”) system, The NBTC begins to study for additional fees and  they can collect from such platform to ensuring an equal treatment in the telecommunication industry.

However, NBTC is aware of effects which will happen to all relevant stakeholders such as the government, network providers, OTT service providers and consumers. As a result, the governing framework and its implementation shall carefully be made.

For other aspects, OTT platform is regulated by the Computer Crime Act, and NBTC plants to set forth more supervisions under four strategies which are frequency management strategy, economic regulatory strategy, telecom innovation promotion and as strategy for comprehensive access to a variety of telecom services, according to Mr. Phoomsisth, the deputy secretary-general of the NBTC.