Bangkok Bits: NBTC to regulate OTT video; DEPA targets 500,000 startups

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Meanwhile in Thailand, NBTC will regulate OTT like TV while new DEPA sets sights on 500,000 startups … in 20 years

ITEM: Thailand’s broadcasting regulator has declared that OTT video services are to be regulated under broadcasting laws.

Colonel Natee Sukonrat, Chair of the Broadcasting sub-board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission held a meeting on Monday in which the regulator declared that Over-The-Top video services are to be considered “broadcasting of sound and pictures through other networks” and are under the jurisdiction of broadcasting regulations.

A sub-committee was set up to oversee the industry and has an initial duration of one year.

500k start-ups in 20 years: DEPA

ITEM: After rebranding the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society last September, the MICT’s Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) has now been relaunched as the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) – which has declared its intention to producing 500,000 digital startups over the next 20 years.

Those half a million startups will comprise 20,000 software startups, 50,000 hardware startups, and 80,000 startups with operations already in Thailand but with headquarters overseas, mostly in Singapore. The other 350,000 startups will be users of digital technologies in their startup business. (Are you getting all of this? – Ed.)

SIPA has transferred all its assets and personnel to DEPA which, unlike its predecessor, is a juristic person rather than a government agency.

DEPA has five sections:

  1. Digital Innovation Promotion, which will focus on the government’s flagship digital economy projects
  2. Society and Digital Society, which includes both human capacity development and uplifting the quality of life
  3. Digital Economy, which includes promotion of new agriculture
  4. Digital Strategy and Management, which reports to the Digital Economy Commission chaired by the Prime Minister and will put forward strategies and indicators to the DE Commission to approve and monitor
  5. Regional promotion bureaus, of which there will be 12 bureaus and bureau directors to be set up within the next five years.

DEPA has been given approval in the 2017 budget to hire an extra 138 staff, with many more to follow in 2018. It inherits SIPA’s $8.72 million (300 million baht) budget for 2017, but will request a budget of 400 million baht for 2018. That doesn’t include projects related to Digital Park Thailand and the Eastern Economic Zone.

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