Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Chunghwa Telecom to cut access fees for ADSL service

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chunghwa Telecom will soon cut its broadband service fees after the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved its plan to lower monthly access fees for its asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service.

The monthly charge for the ADSL service consists of two types of fees: the access fee and the Internet fee.

The nation's largest telecom operator submitted the plan in compliance with an NCC policy approved in 2006 requiring ADSL providers to lower charges for three consecutive years.

Based on the plan, Chunghwa's access fee will drop by an average of 5.35 percent.

Specifically, the access fee for its 256kbps ADSL service will be cut by 5.88 percent, the largest percentage decrease among all ADSL services. The 2Mbps and 1Mbps services, meanwhile, will drop by 5.85 percent and 5.72 percent respectively.

Subscribers to 512kbps or 4Mbps services, on the other hand, will see their monthly fee drop by NT$36.

The new rates will go into effect this month, the NCC said.

The rates, however, fell short of the expectations of the Consumer Protection Foundation.

Last week, the foundation accused Chunghwa of overcharging ADSL customers. It said that Chunghwa's service was slower than similar ones offered in Japan, but cost four times more.

Specifically, they said that the access fee for 8Mbps service should be cut by NT$500 to around NT$60 per month.

NCC spokesperson Lee Ta-sung (李大嵩) said the commission would hold a meeting in July to determine whether telecom operators should continue lowering access fees for ADSL services next year. The discussion will also include access fees for the optical fiber network service.

Aside from Chunghwa, the NCC also required Taiwan Fixed Network, Asia-Pacific Telecom and Sparq to drop their ADSL charges. The three telecom operators have a total of 23,000 ADSL customers, compared with Chunghwa's more than 3 million users.

Unlike Chunghwa, which is the dominant player in the ADSL market, their new plans do not need approval from the NCC.

NCC figures showed that Chunghwa's ADSL clients topped 3.18 million as of February.

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