Complaint-based framework to govern OTT

Complaint-based framework to govern OTT

Regulatory framework to be rolled out soon

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) says it will implement a complaint-based regulatory framework to govern the over-the-top (OTT) service platform so as not to hinder content creativity.

With the after-the-fact regulatory concept, the NBTC will investigate OTT content or operations whenever it gets complaints from related parties and consumers, said Col Natee Sukolrat, chairman of the regulator's broadcasting committee.

"We will govern the OTT business on a complaint basis, not a censoring one," he said.

The NBTC is now in the process of drafting the regulatory framework to establish industry standards and a level playing field for OTT operators, as well as putting OTT operators and content providers on a control list after a years-long absence of rules and regulations.

A clearer picture of the regulatory framework is expected to be presented next week and come into effect by August.

The NBTC held a forum for all parties related to the OTT platform last month to gather their opinions before concluding the regulations for OTT operators.

Col Natee said the regulator would not determine guidelines for the OTT business model, as both operations and content production are driven by creativity and innovation.

The OTT business is clearly categorised by the NBTC as a TV broadcasting service that does not use any frequency, similar to cable and satellite TV.

The streaming video on OTT platform only differs from cable and satellite TV as OTT users can post their content directly to viewers.

"The OTT business will be governed similarly to the TV broadcasting service, for which the NBTC set some control lists to build industry standards. The NBTC will intervene or launch an investigation if they get complaints against OTT operators," he said.

Previously, the NBTC's advisory company reported that OTT service is commonly divided into two types: free platform (advertising-driven) and paid platform (monthly payment and pay-on-demand).

The free OTT platform includes Line TV, YouTube and some digital TV channels that broadcast their programmes via OTT platforms such as Channel 3, Channel 7 and Channel 8 and Workpoint TV.

The paid OTT platforms include Netflix, Iflix, Hollywood HDTV, PrimeTime, AIS Play and TrueVisions Anywhere.

Yesterday, the NBTC met the top 100 content providers on YouTube to discuss the OTT regulatory framework.

The regulator plans to put the 100 most popular social media content providers or users who influence public opinion on its control list.

Col Natee said the popular YouTube content providers agreed to being placed on the NBTC's control list. But they urged the NBTC to set measures to ensure fair competition between local and foreign OTT operators and promote freedom of content creativity.

Meanwhile, Thaicom, the country's sole satellite service provider, signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies Thailand Co and Starcor Media Technologies to cash in on OTT development in Thailand.

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