The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) Thailand hosted the International Symposium on Converging Technologies & Disruptive Communications Moving Forward on 10-11 September in Bangkok. Regulators, broadcasters, telecommunications companies, over-the-top players and academics discussed prevailing conditions and projected developments and considered regulatory policies and actions in the digital ecosystem. Here are the key takeaways from the event.
Broadband and mobile have changed the broadcasting landscape forever
Fast Internet broadband has allowed consumers to stream content efficiently from any device and location. As a result, TV broadcasters are jumping on the digital bandwagon. Some broadcasters such as the English firm Sky One is partnering up with Netflix to give its consumers access to Netflix content. Other broadcasters are also exploring the use of on-demand apps to aid their linear TV programming.
Telcos need to evolve to address declining revenue
DTAC (Thai telecommunications company) is adopting new measures to cope with declining revenue — a result of consumers using more data while bearing a marginal price increase. DTAC is encouraging collaboration between cross-functional teams to increase efficiency and innovation, and investing in AI and 5G technology.
Local content is lacking
ASEAN regulators established the ASEAN ICT Fund and masterplan to tackle access and adoption, as well as to promote local content and cultural diversity. Indeed, with the lack of local content, youths are consuming overseas content, thereby threatening local culture, such as language promotion and cultural norms.
Need to re-examine the regulatory approach for the digital industry
Regulators at the event shared the need for authorities to converge, whether locally or internationally, to ensure that regulations can keep up with the pace of innovation. Several regulators also discussed the possibility of new broadcast standards to cope with the unfair and burdensome licensing practices for telcos and broadcasters.
Author: Seha Yatim, Policy Analyst, Access Partnership