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Junta panel to finalise value of digital TV vouchers

A committee set up by the junta to scrutinise state budgets is expected to finalise the value of free vouchers for digital TV receivers on August 20, along with related details, said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

The committee met with the NBTC yesterday to hear its position on the voucher giveaway.

This follows complaints by broadcasting professional groups that the proposed value of the coupons, at Bt690 each, is too low, and the limitations on what they can be used for too restrictive. They want the value raised to Bt1,000.

Takorn said the NBTC intended to start giving away the vouchers next month. He said it had proposed to the committee that the Bt690 vouchers be given for four months in four provinces on a trial basis. If it is shown that people cannot watch the digital TV channels because of a lack of network coverage in some areas, the NBTC might consider allowing people to use the vouchers to buy satellite-TV or cable-TV set-top boxes to give them access to the digital channels.

As for the final value of the vouchers, he said that would be up to the junta's committee. Satellite and cable TV subscribers currently can view digital TV programmes on their existing platforms.

Samart Corp president Watchai Vilailuck said yesterday that his company, a major producer of digital set-top boxes, had targeted sales of 1.5 million units this year after the NBTC gets the vouchers distributed.


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