12 December 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is due to begin screening its replacement for existing secretary-general Takorn Tantasith.
Tantasith is stepping down from his
position to join the Election Commission (EC) and there are
currently four deputy secretary-generals any of which are the
preferred successors to for the role.
Trairat Viriyasirikul, is responsible for strategic and
internal affairs; Thanapant Raicharoen, who directs regional
and spectrum management; Pakdee Manaves, is in charge of
broadcasting regulatory management; and Korkij Danchaivichit,
is responsible for telecom regulatory management,
An acting secretary-general must be chosen by January 2018
because it at that time that the EC will receive official
approval by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). Earlier
this month the EC selected 15 candidates by the final stage
only 5 candidates remained including Tantasith, who were deemed
qualified enough for the job. The Supreme Court are said to be
adding the final two candidates to serve on the seven-seat
Candidates for the EC must be approved by 125 members of the
NLA and once selected they must resign from their current
position 15 days after being approved.
Speaking to the Bangkok Post, a source close to the
proceedings said that in the role of acting secretary-general:
"Balancing the benefits of certain policies and having the
audacity to implement unexpected and urgent measures, like the
banning of new illicit websites or social media, are essential
for the job."
When Tantasith himself was questioned on who best to fill
the vacancy he replied: "It's too early to say."
During his time at the NBTC, Tantasith saw the regulator
through a number of large projects including the auction of its
3G licences in 2012, the 4G licence bidding in 2015 and the new
registration system for SIM cards.
On 18 December, the NBTC are set to host a public hearing for
the auction of 1800- and 850-megahertz spectrum, an event
Tantasith says he plans on attending. Currently the 1800- and
850MHz spectrum ranges are operated by Total Access
Communication (DTAC), a subsidiary of CAT Telecom, a
state-owned enterprise with the licence due to expire on 30
Due to the six year term with the current NBTC board having
expired in October, under a new NTBC act the government must
recruit a new NBTC board to replace the existing one. The NLA
has begun work on the recruitment criteria for the replacement
NBTC board and interested parties can apply between 8
-12 January 2018.
"We should see the names of candidates for the new NBTC in
March or April of next year," added Tantasith.
In related news the NTBC awarded mu Space Corp, the start-up
space technology company with a licence to operate and
provision satellite based services until the year 2032.
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission,
National Legislative Assembly,