Get phones in the fast lane | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Get phones in the fast lane

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The Administrative Court's decision last week to dismiss the Ombudsman's objection to the 3G spectrum auction was welcome. What is needed now is decisive and strong leadership to implement high-speed, mobile phone networks. When the judges waved off the Ombudsman, it was a clear signal that the time is past to consider more delaying tactics. Thailand is behind its neighbours and the world, and it is necessary to catch up. 

The attempt to bring third-generation mobile phone communications to the public has been a disaster. The planning was terrible, and the execution was worse. Competing bodies ran into each other like a slapstick movie _ except that it was not funny. Regulators played politics, politicians tried to interfere in regulations, and the courts _ with one exception _ offered no useful guidance.

That exception came more than two years ago when the Constitution Court intervened. It struck down the authority of the then-National Telecommunications Commission, halting a planned spectrum auction in its tracks. Ponderous procedures replaced the NTC with the current National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). It held the delayed auction on Oct 16.

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