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TV voucher scheme to be finalised shortly

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will likely finalise the details of the digital TV voucher scheme tomorrow.

The National Council for Peace and Order has given the green light to the NBTC to carry out the scheme of giving away Bt690 vouchers to all 22.9 million households to purchase a digital TV set-top box or digital television set.

Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's broadcasting committee, said yesterday that the process involved the printing of the vouchers, distribution to eligible households and the registration of authorised dealers.

He could not say whether the process would be changed from the previous proposal, because staff were working hard on the plan and were expected to submit it to the commissioners today.

The draft plan involved four parties - a single publisher and printer, a distributor, retailers and banks. Thailand Post could be the distributor.

People would have to purchase a digital-TV receiver and antenna from an authorised retailer or dealer, which would cash the vouchers in at an authorised bank.

The broadcasting committee also approved the termination of the digital terrestrial TV trial. The results were satisfactory although one state media enterprise conducted the network test on only five broadcasting stations instead of the seven stated to the NBTC in its trial operating plan.

Now MCOT can install transmitters at its broadcasting towers to provide digital TV service for its clients and start the procurement of equipment after experiencing a long delay due to a corruption scandal involving this process.

The digital TV network roll-outs of MCOT and the Public Relations Department are still behind their rivals such as the Army and the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

Both the Army and Thai PBS already reach more than half of all households, which is in line with the NBTC's advice.




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