PM invokes S44 to halt NBTC picks

PM invokes S44 to halt NBTC picks

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has invoked Section 44 to suspend the process of selecting new members of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) until the new legislation that governs the organisation comes into force.

The Section 44 order, which was issued by the premier in his capacity as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), was announced in the Royal Gazette on Thursday.

Any members who are obliged to vacate their posts when they turn 70 would be allowed to perform their duties until the bill is enforced. NBTC chairman Sukit Khamasundara is 69 while another member, Prasert Silphiphat, is 68.

In cases where NBTC members have to leave their posts for other reasons, the remaining members will be allowed to perform their duties.

The order came as three mobile operators -- Advanced Info Service, True Move H Universal Communication and Total Access Communication -- are due to submit proposals to buy 700MHz spectrum licences, meant for the 5G network, on June 19.

The NBTC plans to sell 10MHz of bandwidth to each of the three operators.


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