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Thai Telecom Commission (NBTC) Vows to Clean up Dangerous Wiring and Cables

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has passed harsher measures that will force all telecom and broadcasting operators to comply with more stringent regulations for wire cables.

Last week, motorcyclist Maneenet Charoen-ngao was knocked down by a wire falling across a road in Khon Kaen province. She was nearly decapitated and died at the scene.

In response to the tragedy, the NBTC called all telecom and broadcasting operators to a meeting Thursday and demanded serious changes in cable wiring to comply with the new standard’s conditions.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the commission wants to ensure tidy cable installations for the sake of public safety.

Mr Takorn said all telecom and broadcasting operators must strictly lay out cable lines through power poles in compliance with the conditions of the agreement the NBTC made with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA).

Mr Takorn said the standard for laying cables requires there to be no overhead cables crossing over main streets — all cables must be put underground.

Overhead cable wires across smaller roads must be no lower than 5.5 metres in height from the ground. All cables must be coloured and have companies’ names clearly identified.

Telecom and broadcasting operators have to closely ensure that subcontractors lay out cables in compliance with the standards specified by the NBTC and the electricity authorities.

People who see cables falling or are affected by messy or cluttered cables can file complaints with the NBTC’s call centre by dialling 1200 free of charge, as well as the MEA’s call centre at 1130 and the PEA’s call centre at 1129.

The NBTC will contact the owner of the cables and force them to tackle the case urgently.

If the company fails to address the issue, the NBTC may have to cut the cables off to prevent any risks to public safety.

The NBTC will also penalise cable owners through administrative orders.

The government has been following its roadmap to complete putting all electricity wires and telecom cables underground in three provinces by 2020.

Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi combined have 127 kilometres of wires in 39 roads, which will cost 51.7 billion baht to put underground.

The MEA, state telecom TOT, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Royal Thai Police and the NBTC signed a memorandum of understanding in July 2016 on the roadmap.

By Komsan Tortermvasana
The Bangkok Post


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