The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved Chunghwa Telecom’s plan to reduce the price of its ADSL service and its IP peering fees — a move that could benefit 2.1 million ADSL service subscribers.
Earlier this year, Chunghwa Telecom lowered its monthly rental fee for the 50 megabit per second (50Mbps) service from NT$1,700 to NT$1,199 in the hope of motivating more people to switch to the high-speed Internet connection service.
The commission said the company’s plan this time would benefit 2Mbps and 3Mbps service users, who are a majority of the company’s ADSL service customers.
Based on the plans approved by the commission, the company will cut its ADSL service rates by an average of 20 percent. It will also lower the IP peering fees it charges other Internet service providers, both public and private.
The 2Mbps and 3Mbps sevice users will also be able to enjoy Wi-fi service at hotspots installed by Chunghwa Telecom for 60 hours, up from 30 hours. However, the commission rejected the company’s plan to offer a 40 percent discount to college students who live in dorms or apartments close to their school’s campus.
Commission spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said the service plan for college students is problematic.
“Why is the company offering the deal exclusively to college students who live on or near the campus? What about those who live with parents? Can they apply for the service as well? What about those in high school or junior high schools, who may need to go online? The plan, if instituted, could violate the Telecommunication Act (電信法), which requires telecom carriers to not discriminate against other telecoms companies or users without due cause,” Chen said
“We have also found that the retail price Chunghwa Telecom offered to the students costs more than the wholesale price, which could result in unfair competition in the market,” he said, adding the company should not make details of its plans public without securing the commission’s approval first.
Last week, Chen said the commission was puzzled and dissatisfied that the company had announced the plan unilaterally without having it approved in advance, which he said was a violation of the Administrative Regulations Governing Tariffs of Type I Telecommunications Enterprises (第一類電信事業資費管理辦法).
Commission statistics showed that Chunghwa Telecom’s revenue generated by the ADSL service tops NT$1.1 billion (US$36.5 million) per month. The new plan will cause its revenue to fall by NT$280 million per month.
The commission said the firm must allow seven days of public discussion about its service plan, which could take effect on Jan.1 if the administrative procedures are completed before then.