The Thai government through the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is set to regulate over-the-top (OTT) service platforms that provide on-demand video streaming service, Bangkok Post reported.

According to NBTC Chairman Col Natee Sukonrat, the plan is part of a regulatory policy that will be imposed on the local OTT market to curb internet content that is “difficult to regulate.”

Set to take effect in August, the commission is currently listing the top 100 most popular content providers in the country. Those with more than one million users such as Youtube easily falls within this category.

“The 100 most popular content providers or users on social media who influence public opinion and perception will have to be reined in,” Col Sukonrat said.

He also stated that while it is also “too early” to identify the top 100 most popular content provider or user in social media, OTTs will have to register their companies with NBTC and may need to apply for operating licenses.

Also Read: Thailand to oblige mobile phone users to register fingerprints, aims to battle terrorism

Last month the NBTC has held a forum with industry players to hear out their opinion on the upcoming regulation. It is set to out to conduct another forum with the top 100 most popular Youtube ad Facebook content creators in early June.

While internet censorship remains an issue in Southeast Asian countries, the Thailand government has been stepping up their effort with their recent moves.

In late April it called upon internet service provider (ISP) and international internet gateway (IIG) companies to play a more active role in implementing the country’s censorship law, which includes banning material that violates the country’s lese majeste law.

A group of ISP and IIG companies responded by petitioning Facebook to remove 131 pages believed to have violated the law, but up until the May 16 deadline, Facebook remains accessible in the country.

As one of the industry players working in the market, iflix has released a formal statement through their spokesperson regarding the matter.

“As part of our commitment to our local markets, we work closely with local governments and agencies, including NBTC on navigating these uncharted legislative waters. It is our aim to bring international standards to emerging markets, and building a local company that is deeply committed and integrated in the local ecosystem,” the company stated.

“As a part of this promise, we both self-censor in line with local standards and customs, whilst complying with local regulations, but always ensuring that we do not compromise the character and integrity of the programming we offer,” it added.

Image Credit: twindesign / 123RF Stock Photo