The Nation



NBTC plans balanced budget for next year

THE NATIONAL Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has drafted a balanced budget for next year, with no regulatory revenue passed to the state, said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit.

The commission's proposed 2014 operating budget is Bt5.4 billion, equal to regulatory fees it brought in this year.

Under the Frequency Allocation Law, the NBTC has to transfer regulatory revenue after overall expenses are deducted to the state.

"We've set a balanced budget because we will be making a huge investment of Bt2 billion on our new head-office building in Khae Rai next year, another Bt1.6 billion for administrative expenditures, and Bt1.5 billion on tied-over budget," he said.

He said the NBTC had high costs because of the number of task forces for broadcasting and telecommunication work.

This year NBTC is expected to return around Bt200 million in regulatory fees to government, versus the Bt1.124 billion it paid last year.

Takorn said that this year the NBTC expected to see higher fee income than last year's Bt3.9 billion thanks to third-generation numbering fees and 3G annual licence fees.

The NBTC expects to see around Bt4 billion in regulatory fees in 2015.

The NBTC office is due to submit the 2014 budget to the board for consideration next month.

Yesterday the NBTC board approved Bt390 million to buy 26 vehicles as remote-control radio-monitoring stations to scan for illegal signal transmissions. Seventeen of the vehicles will be assigned to the Central region, five to the Northeast and four to the North.

Illegal transmissions recently interfered with broadcasts of the Asia Update and Blue Sky television channels during the political protests. The NBTC decided to dispatch the remote scanning vehicles after receiving a complaint from Thaicom, the national provider of satellite broadcast services, on November 25 after the company experienced disruptions to its TV signal transmissions.

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