The Fair Trade Commission yesterday fined Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) NT$5 million (US$169,000) for false advertising of its 50 megabit-per-second (50Mbps) optical fiber network services.
The commission said Chunghwa, the nation’s largest telecommunications operator, placed several advertisements on its Web site claiming it offered “super fast” DVD downloads to customers using its 50Mbps service.
In the ads, which Chunghwa said it withdrew from its Web site late last year, the company claimed it would take only 12 minutes for consumers to download the data contained on a 4.7 gigabyte DVD through its high-speed optical fiber service, but the commission said in a statement that Chunghwa had incorrectly compared bandwidth to broadband speed when promoting its optical fiber service.
Bandwidth refers to the size of the conduit in which the data is traveling, while speed refers to the rate at which the data is traveling and Chunghwa’s ad represented the optimal speed it could offer.
But in reality the service's download rates measured by the commission ranged between 26.59Mbps to 50Mbps and Chunghwa has received mounting complaints about slow transmission speeds.
As a result, the commission said it decided to fine the company NT$5 million in accordance with Article 21 of the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法).
The fine represented the fifth punishment Chunghwa has received from the commission, while the size of the fine was the highest of its kind among local telecom operators.
Chunghwa introduced its 50Mbps broadband service last year as it aims to migrate existing users of its ADSL broadband service to the higher revenue, faster optical-fiber service.
Earlier this year, it lowered its monthly fee for the 50Mbps service from NT$1,700 to NT$1,199 to attract more customers.
This story has been updated since it was first published.