Over-the-top tax bid for Asean

Over-the-top tax bid for Asean

Thailand will propose a tax on over-the-top (OTT) service providers to Asean members when the region's telecom regulators meet in Bangkok next week, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The 25th Asean Telecommunication Regulators' Council (ATRC) meeting will be held Aug 20-23 at Anantara Riverside Hotel.

A press statement yesterday from the NBTC indicated that key topics to be discussed at the event include issues surrounding the OTT business.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith, who serves as chairman of the ATRC meeting, said Thailand will propose a collective solution to fairly obtain an "economic contribution" in terms of revenue from OTT businesses.

"This idea will not affect OTT consumers in Asean, as it is not intended to influence service prices, privacy or fair competition in the telecom markets," Mr Takorn said. "The contribution from OTT businesses should not result in a burden on the people."

According to the NBTC, a side meeting will be held on Aug 19, particularly on OTT issues, called an OTT dialogue. The event will be a forum where members can voice their opinions and their concerns about the OTT industry.

The results of the OTT dialogue will be presented at the ATRC meeting for further consideration.

OTT refers to digital applications or services that operate on internet networks. These players include Facebook, YouTube, Line and Netflix.

The rise of OTT, especially video streaming from popular platforms, is creating critical challenges for regulators worldwide regarding the proper policy measures to govern and tax operators.

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