National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairman Howard Shyr (石世豪) yesterday said that the commission would release its ranking of telecommunications carriers according to the number of consumer complaints in the first quarter of the year.
Shyr made the announcement at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee, held to review a proposed amendment to the Telecommunications Act (電信法) that would ban telecom carriers from building service station bases on the site of all schools up to the senior-high school level.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Chia-cheng (盧嘉辰) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) said that the commission had received 1,688 complaints involving disputes between telecoms carriers and consumers in the period between January and March this year, which accounted for more than 50 percent of the total last year.
Lee said the commission should be more active in resolving the disputes, rather than just forwarding the complaints to the relevant carrier. The public has a right to know which carrier received the largest number of complaints, he said, adding that this would motivate the carriers to improve.
Lee added that the regulations on seeking compensation from telecom carriers were too strict. Currently, consumers can only be compensated if they experience a disconnection in mobile communication service for more than two hours or for more than 12 hours for fixed network services. He said that users’ monthly service fee should be waived if their carrier fails to resume normal service within two hours.
The committee passed a resolution asking the commission to study the feasibility of demanding that land or property owned by government agencies and state-run corporations be made available for base stations. The resolution also urged the commission to monitor changes in electromagnetic waves near the base stations every season without giving notice to the carriers.
KMT Legislator Luo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) and DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said that nearly all government agencies had turned down requests to have a station installed on their premises because it would upset the residents in their neighborhoods. The two legislators said that the public’s aversion to the stations is proof that the commission has failed to assure people about the safety of living near the stations.