Sun, Dec 04, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Presidential candidates cross swords

HEAD TO HEAD:The following is a transcription of the third part of yesterday’s televised presidential debate, in which each candidate posed two questions to each opponent

Transcribed by Loa Iok-sin, Lee I-chia and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporters

Ma: I am very glad that Mr Soong puts great emphasis on the establishment of information infrastructure. When I headed the Taipei City Government, I pushed ahead with the Wireless City project in the first four years and Broadband Wireless in the following four years. Now Taipei has become the city with the most widespread broadband wireless applications in Taiwan. Therefore, I have long hoped to turn “M Taipei” [Mobile Taipei Project] into “M Taiwan.” Of course, Chunghwa Telecom did reduce its fees a few times recently, but Internet users are still very dissatisfied. So on New Year’s Day this year, I brought up the “Centennial Vitality” project. It not only means protecting the environment, but also the Internet, hoping to increase its speed, with cheaper fees and more convenient usage. Not long ago, the Executive Yuan set up wireless Internet at 2,500 public sites of central government agencies. Since its inception in October, the results have been pretty good. We will continue to expand it. The competitive strength of the Internet has become a crucial part of the nation’s competitive strength. So on the one hand, we will continue this [policy] and on the other we call for high-resolution TV and digital convergence. There are, to be frank, some parts of China where progress [in those areas] is ahead of us. We have to rise and catch up. On this aspect, the DPP’s past efforts were actually very insufficient, so after we were in office, we did as much as we could, but because of various conditions, not everyone was satisfied with some parts. I am willing to review this part and accept Chairman Soong’s suggestion, to make further efforts, hoping all the infrastructure will be what I said at the beginning of the year — cheaper, faster and more convenient. Because the competitive strength of the Internet equals the competitive strength of the nation, I fully agree with you on this aspect, Chairman Soong and I hope Chairperson Tsai can join us. Let’s push for it together. The Internet has nothing to do with political stances.

Tsai: Our policy on technology has clearly stated that the Internet is a basic right of the people, so the government has to establish an Internet infrastructure to ensure the people can have the freedom and right to go on the Internet and pay reasonable fees to use the Internet. In the past, the telecommunications industry was the problem of Chunghwa Telecom Co, because it is state-run and a long-time monopoly. So in going the last mile, it has the privilege of a monopoly. However, whether this right of monopoly is an absolute monopoly, we have to consider. Technology is advancing every day; many problems that we are facing now can be solved with progress. So my treatment for Chunghwa Telecom Co’s position on monopoly is, whether stronger measures are necessary to break the company up, we can still consider it.

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