Wed, Jul 05, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa Telecom to compensate irate MOD users

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday said it is cutting subscription fees and offering free content viewing to compensate its pay-TV subscribers, following complaints over the unexpected cutbacks in on-demand channels.

About 40 channels have become unavailable since the beginning of this month after channel operators and Chunghwa Telecom failed to reach agreement on a profit-sharing proposal.

The proposal is part of Chunghwa Telecom’s efforts to turn around its lossmaking multimedia-on-demand (MOD) business. The business has been operating at a loss since its launch 13 years ago, although it has accumulated more than 1.3 million subscribers.

“The company is barred from operating TV channels or interfering in the operation of channel content as it is 30 percent owned by the government,” Chung Kuo-chiang (鐘國強), head of the telecom’s legal department, told a media briefing yesterday.

Article 63 of the Telecommunications Act (電信法) bans state-owned or military-owned companies from running telecoms or media businesses.

“Chunghwa Telecom can only lease its bandwidth as a platform to deliver content,” Chung said. “The company does not have a say in channel operators’ decisions to adjust content offerings.”

The company is reducing the monthly charge for MOD’s Luxury Family package from NT$270 to NT$145, it said in a statement.

It is also cutting the monthly fees for the Premium Family package and the Standard package from NT$100 and NT$210 to NT$90 and NT$80 respectively, it said.

The cutbacks are to take effect this month, but the company did not specify how long they would remain in effect.

Chunghwa Telecom is also offering free content viewing for affected users for seven days. They will also receive a NT$50 coupon for 12 months.

For those who opt to terminate their pay-TV service contract, the company will not charge them for liquidated damages.

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