Thu, Jul 16, 2009 - Page 2 News List

NCC plans amendments to broadcasting legislation

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) is planning to amend the Broadcasting and Television Act (廣播電視法), which would require the commission to issue operational licenses for radio and television through a panel review or public bidding.

The Broadcasting and Television act regulates the operation of the terrestrial television and radio services. NCC acting spokesperson Hsieh Chin-nan (謝進男) said the current Act only authorizes authorities to review applications from radio and television service providers and decide on their approval.

“We added the new clause in article 10 of the Act because the Control Yuan said in 2002 that the way we had been issuing operational licenses for radios and television was flawed,” Hsieh said.

He added the commission would stipulate separate regulations on how the auction and bidding should be carried out.

Kao Fu-yao (高福堯), director of the NCC’s legal department, said that currently, operators have to renew their licenses every six years but that the NCC is considering extending that time.

Hsieh added the NCC is planning to amend Article 45 that authorizes it to penalize radio and television stations that have only obtained construction permits but start operating without securing an operational licenses.

The article will also set stronger penalties for illegal radio stations, he said, adding that the government would confiscate equipment and issue fines of between NT$10,000 and NT$50,000. Registered owners of illegal radio stations could face up to two years in prison or penalties of between NT$1 million and NT$5 million, he said.

The amendment will be used to govern the distribution of new radio operational licenses with its exact wording expected to be finalized next week.

The NCC also said yesterday that it would soon establish minimum signal processing speeds for different Internet services as a way to resolve disputes between consumers and service providers.

Hsieh said factors influencing the processing speeds of Internet services vary.

“When four people share the bandwidth, the processing speed will not be the same as that when you have 10 people using the bandwidth,” Hsieh said.

He said the NCC would strive to establish reasonable minimum processing speeds for different types of Internet services so that customers could use them as a reference when evaluating the quality of the service they subscribe to.

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