The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said the use of Nakhon Sawan’s short-wave radio-relay station to broadcast content from the BBC World Service in Southeast Asia was a matter of the country’s policy that involved agreements based on related international laws which needed to be settled first.
The NBTC is willing to provide the service for the BBC once Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and the company reached an agreement to renew the contract, said NBTC secretary general Thakorn Tanthasit on Friday.
The BBC’s short-wave relay station stopped transmitting at the start of the year after the contract with the government expired.
The news outlet said in a statement released on Thursday that the agency could not reach an agreement with authorities to resume broadcasting because of its financial limitations so it had to shut down the station. But it said people could still listen to its programme via relay stations elsewhere.
The Foreign Affair Ministry earlier said the two parties had been in negotiations for renewing the contract.
The BBC, it said, had submitted the draft agreement in late December, but this was too close to the deadline on December 31.
It said as such, the contract renewal could not be done in time as it would have to ask the Cabinet for approval.
The BBC last month contacted the ministry to brief it, according to BBC Thai.
Thakorn said the ministry had submitted an official letter to it inquiring as to whether the contract between the ministry and the BBC had to also be approved by the NBTC. The organisation responded by referring to the country’ policy regarding the matter.