Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - Page 4 News List

NCC resolves to promote transition to digital TV

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday vowed to push amendments to the outdated Cable Television Act (有線電視法) to facilitate the transition to a nationwide digital television service.

NCC planning department chief Ji Xiao-zheng (紀效正) said the commission’s goal of doing away with analog TV channels by 2013 would be carried out in three stages.

UNDER-USED

Although 20 percent of the nation’s households were supposed to have made the transition to digital television services by the end of last year, only 3.99 percent of households are using the digital service.

Ji said the department has been examining possible factors ­hindering the transition, such as the price of digital set-top boxes, and that the commission would consider a research report scheduled to be completed by next month before proposing amendments to the articles in the Cable Television Act to the Legislative Yuan.

SET-TOP BOX

Ji said some commissioners have proposed that cable television service providers be required to provide one free set-top box per family, provide additional set-top boxes at a reduced cost to people who buy or rent them and stop charging customers rental fees once the service providers have recovered the costs of the set-top boxes.

Earlier this month, the commission approved a draft amendment to the Radio and Television Act (衛星廣播電視法), which still needs to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan.

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