The 6th edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Telecoms, Media, and Internet Laws and Regulations covers 33 different jurisdictions, with a Q&A-style chapter for each jurisdiction.
The Thailand chapter was written by David Duncan, consultant in the Tilleke & Gibbins corporate and commercial group. As an introductory overview, the chapter gives insight into Thailand’s changing regulatory landscape in terms of the telecommunications and media industries, and provides some analysis into the effect it has on the market, the annual revenue, and the most important companies and whether they are open to competition and foreign investment. They also list the most important legislation applicable, the government ministries, regulators, agencies and major self-regulatory bodies which have a role in the regulation of the relevant industries, and whether there are general restrictions on foreign ownership or investment in the telecoms, audio-visual media distribution, and internet sectors in Thailand.
The questions then delve into greater detail, and cover the following areas:
Telecoms: Thailand’s ratification and commitments under the GATS/GATT or the WTO, the roles of the regulatory and competition law authorities in Thailand and their independence, the types of licenses and authorizations used and their legal requirements, the specific provisions dealing with accessing and enforcing rights to public and private land to install telecommunications infrastructure, how interconnection access is mandated, how disputes are resolved, the price and consumer regulation on operators in Thailand, and a few general questions about numbering and network identifying codes.
Radio Spectrum: The use of radio spectrum and how it is regulated, the procedures for authorization and allocation of spectrum between candidates, and the fees and tradability of licenses.
Data Retention and Interception: Operators’ obligation to retain call data, and their duty to maintain call interception capabilities.
Distribution of Audio-Visual Media: How the distribution of audio-visual media is regulated in Thailand, the distinction between linear and non-linear content distributed over different platforms, and the different types of licenses for the distribution of audio-visual media and their key obligations.
Internet Infrastructure: The regulation of conveyance services over the internet compared to other electronic communications services, how the courts interpret specific provisions of the Computer Crime Act, the use of counter-infringement measures, the extent of “net neutrality” requirements in Thailand, and the regulation of “voice over IP” services.
This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Telecoms, Media, and Internet Laws and Regulations, published by Global Legal Group Ltd., London. www.iclg.co.uk