Sat, Nov 25, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa ready to launch IPTV


Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's largest phone company, is expected to receive the go-ahead from regulators soon to launch its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) business.

The National Communications Commission is entering final discussions to allow Chunghwa Telecom to run a IPTV operation as stipulated by the Telecom Law (電信法), the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported yesterday, citing NCC spokesperson Howard Shyr (石世豪).

The report said the NCC also required Chunghwa Telecom, 42-percent owned by the government, to adjust its operation model.

In the future, the company will not be able to operate channels or provide any digital content for subscribers on its broadband network, the NCC said.

In other words, Chunghwa Telecom cannot directly operate a channel, but can only lease channels and broadband networks to interest parties for TV program delivery.

"It is good for Chunghwa Tele-com as we can attract channel operators to air their programs on our platform, which will enrich our content and solicit more subscribers," Chang Yi-fong (張義豐), a managing director of Chunghwa Telecom's IPTV division, said in a telephone interview.

Chang said the company is in talks with many channel operators about delivering their programs on Chunghwa Telecom's multimedia-on-demand (MOD) platform, which enables more interaction with TV watchers than on cable TV.

Chunghwa Telecom has already sent a fee schedule for companies interesting in renting the carrier's TV channels to the NCC, Chang said.

The regulator's vague stance in the past few months prompted Chunghwa Telecom to halve its MOD subscriber target to 250,000 users from the 500,000 users estimated at the beginning of the year.

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