Thu, Apr 11, 2013 - Page 4 News List

NCC asks Chunghwa to review rates

SPEED UPLIFT:As the telecom firm announced new rates for faster Internet services, the commission said consumers in some other Asian nations were getting a better deal

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday asked Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) to review its rates for its 100M/100M Internet service, as it is still slightly higher than those of other Asian countries.

The commission yesterday approved the new Internet service rates proposed by the nation’s largest telecom carrier, including its asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) as well as fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) and fiber-to-the-house (FTTH) services.

Based on Chunghwa’s proposal, consumers can choose to have their Internet services upgraded to faster ones and pay the same monthly charge as they do now. The company has also dropped rates for some of its faster Internet services to motivate customers to switch to those plans.

The 100M/100M service rate was dropped by 23.54 percent, from NT$1,699 per month to NT$1,299. The service provides upload and download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps).

Meanwhile, the rates for the firm’s 100M/40M service fell 20.01 percent, from NT$1,499 to NT$1,199 per month. The 100M/20M service rate was cut by 14.67 percent, from NT$1,288 to NT$1,099 per month.

Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said Chung

hwa’s 100M/100M rate is still more expensive than similar services in Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

He said that, when factoring in purchasing power parity, the 100M/100M service offered by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp costs NT$1,000 per month. Korea Telecom offers the same service at NT$955. In Singapore, Internet speeds of 150Mbps cost about NT$755 per month, Yu added.

Asked why the commission approved the 100M service rates if it was dissatisfied with Chunghwa’s prices, Yu said that the company was not obligated to cap rates for FTTH or FTTB services.

“The commission also recognizes that this is a new technology and the carrier needs to make a large investment in it, so we do not regulate service rates,” Yu added.

Nevertheless, Yu said the NCC had passed a resolution following the approval of the new service rates that Chunghwa must continue examining the possibility of lowering rates for 100M/100M services and submit its new rate to the commission.

Chunghwa said the approved Internet service rates would take effect at the end of this month.

An estimated 4.5 million users are expected to benefit from the new prices.

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