Thu, Mar 07, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Curbs on foreign equipment unveiled

STRICT OVERSIGHT:The National Communications Commission amended seven of its regulations to give it the ability to reject infrastructure plans to uphold national security

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Basic infrastructure equipment produced abroad must be approved by the National Security Bureau and other agencies before it can be imported to be used by the nation’s telecoms and broadcast service operators, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

The announcement, which came after the bureau last year banned the use of mobile phones produced by China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為) by government agencies, was widely viewed as a measure to further restrict the use of devices made in China due to national security concerns.

NCC spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that the legislature’s Transportation Committee in 2013 passed a resolution banning telecoms from using Chinese-made products in their key infrastructure.

Before the commission released the licenses for 4G technology that year, it amended the Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses (行動寬頻業務管理規則), the Regulations for Administration on Fixed Network Telecommunications Business (固定通信業務管理規則) and the Regulations for Administration of the Third Generation Mobile Communications Business (第三代行動通信業務管理規則) to authorize the commission to reject telecom system construction plans in light of security regulations, he said.

The commission yesterday added similar clauses to seven other regulations governing telecoms and broadcasting services, Wong said.

Asked the types of devices that would be subject to the restrictions, Wong said that they include telecoms’ core networks, communication devices, and base stations and transmitters used by TV or radio stations.

The amendments would soon be available for public viewing, and the commission would gather feedback from telecoms and broadcasters before submitting them to the bureau, Wong said.

The bureau would then make a list of forbidden equipment, which the NCC would follow, he said.

In other developments, the commission said it would further expand its evaluation of mobile telecommunication services this year by measuring the speed of Internet service accessed by mobile users in post offices, police stations, railway stations and department stores.

The commission last year measured the mobile Internet speed in 7,851 locations nationwide, Wong said, adding that it would gather speed data from 10,381 locations this year.

This year’s evaluation would also examine mobile Internet speeds during peak and off-peak hours in MRT stations in Taipei and Kaohsiung, as well as the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT, Wong said.

In so doing, the commission would gauge if 4G networks built by the five telecoms can handle the increase in users’ demand for access within a short period, he said.

The commission would also examine the percentage of each telecom’s use of carrier aggregation, a technology that combines two or more carriers into one data channel to enhance data capacity, Wong said, adding that the indicator would motivate telecoms to enhance transmission quality in crowded areas, and on railways and highways.

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