National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) said he hoped the nation’s Internet service fees would drop further before the end of the year.
Shyr made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee on Thursday, while briefing lawmakers on the progress in issuing 4G mobile broadband licenses.
However, lawmakers were mostly concerned about Chunghwa Telecom’s new Internet service rates for asymmetrical digital subscribers line (ADSL) as well as the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) or fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) services that were approved by the commission last week.
In its new Internet service rates unveiled on Wednesday, the nation’s largest telecom carrier said that subscribers of the ADSL services would see their services upgraded to faster ones, while paying the same monthly fee. Those subscribing to 8M/640K would see the monthly rate drop from NT$764 to NT$754.
Subscribers to FTTH or FTTB services would see their monthly fees fall as well. The largest reduction would be seen in the 100M/100M service rate, which would drop by 23.54 percent, from NT$1,699 per month to NT$1,299.
Lawmakers were not impressed by the company’s across-the-board cuts in Internet service rates.
Chinese Nationalist Party Legislator (KMT) Luo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said the cut was nothing to a company whose annual earnings was about the same amount as its registered capital.
“The company can enjoy a profit margin of between 80 and 90 percent,” Luo said. “It’s you [the commission] who let it enjoy such a obscenely huge profit.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) also questioned the commission’s ability to protect consumers’ interests, adding that the nation’s 100M/100M service remains the second-most expensive one in the world, after only the US.
He also questioned the effectiveness of the commission’s policy to regulate the access fees and other intermediate costs among telecom carriers, which the commission said would subsequently reduce retail mobile phone charges.
Though the commission reduced the intermediate costs by about 14 percent, Lee said that only about 1 million users would benefit from such a change in policy, which is roughly about 3 percent of all mobile phone users in the nation.
DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said Chunghwa seemed to have made a rather generous offer by cutting the rate for 100M/100M service by about 23 percent, but less than 1 percent of its customers subscribe to the service.
Tsai said more people subscribe to relatively slow Internet services, such as 12M or 50M, but the rate-cuts for these services were lower than those for high-speed services. Considering that many countries no longer offer these lower-speed services, Tsai said that Internet service in Taiwan was more expensive.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up