Bt1,000 NBTC vouchers to be given away in July

Economy April 24, 2014 00:00


THE Broadcasting Committee has set the face value of the vouchers for purchasing a digital TV set-top box at Bt1,000 and will start giving them away to households countrywide in early July.

A source from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said yesterday that after deciding on the voucher’s value on Tuesday, the committee will propose it to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Resources Development Fund for Public Interest (BTFP) late this month and, if approved, submit it for the NBTC’s final approval early next month.
Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the Broadcasting Committee, said the final value could be either Bt1,000 or Bt1,200, depending on the BTFP and the NBTC.
The committee reportedly had been planning to distribute a Bt1,200 voucher to each household. 
Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, declined to specify the value but confirmed that the watchdog would start mailing out the vouchers in July and about 11 million households would receive them in the first year.
The value is based on the market price of a DVD-T2 digital TV set-top box and an antenna of Bt1,200. The price of the set should go down once it becomes mass produced.
The NBTC has received Bt12 billion as the first instalment of the licence fee from the winners of the auction for 24 commercial terrestrial digital TV licences last December. It will receive the second payment of Bt7 billion next year. The proceeds will be used to fund the voucher scheme. 
The NBTC will also incur operating costs of Bt300 million, including the cost for the Government Lottery Office to print the vouchers, the cost of Thailand Post Co to deliver |the vouchers to homes and the cost of Krungthai Bank to process the payments to set-top box suppliers that cash in the vouchers that they received from households.
Households can use their vouchers to buy a DVD-T2 box, S2 satellite TV box or C2 cable TV box, or to get a discount when buying one of the 72 digital TV sets certified by the NBTC for the voucher programme.