Thu, Aug 15, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Poll shows broad support for ‘a la carte’ cable TV

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A survey by the Taiwan Digital Convergence Development Association showed that more than 60 percent of respondents support the plan to switch to an “a la carte” pricing scheme for TV cable services by 2017.

The telephone survey found that 56.5 percent of those polled are dissatisfied with the current pricing plan for cable services, in which consumers pay a fixed monthly fee of between NT$490 and NT$600 to watch about 100 channels. About 33 percent said there was nothing wrong with the present service.

The National Communications Commission’s proposal to implement an a la carte pricing scheme, in which customers pay for bundles of channels they specifically subscribe to, was supported by 61 percent of respondents, with just 25 percent opposed.

Meanwhile, about 57 percent of participants approved of the commission’s proposal to require every cable operator to provide at least four basic channel packages for consumers to choose from by 2017, while 25 percent disapproved of the measure.

The survey also found that approximately 73 percent of the respondents were concerned about national security breaches if China obtains information about Taiwan’s telecom network and infrastructure.

Findings also showed that 55 percent worried that the government may launch a massive surveillance program over the Internet.

Meanwhile, 63 percent of respondents expressed concern that media outlets would all be owned by one group in the future, while 58 percent said media outlets are already controlled by a few conglomerates.

In addition, 67.8 percent said that financial holding firms should not be allowed to operate media outlets and that the draft anti-media monopoly act — which has yet to be passed at the legislature — should be retroactively applied to any financial group given permission to do so in the past.

Although the government has heavily promoted policies of digital convergence, 83 percent of those polled said they had never heard of the concept, the survey found.

The survey was taken between July 15 and July 24, and collected 1,510 valid samples with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

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