The National Communications Commission yesterday fined Chunghwa Telecom NT$2.5 million (US$79,800) for violating the Telecommunications Act (電信法) by allowing Chinese nationals to enter its network facilities.
Earlier this month, the nation’s largest telecom was found to have one of its telecommunication facility rooms visited by a Chinese tourist, who was reported to be a friend of the employee who managed the facility.
The Chinese tourist then uploaded photographs of the facility online when he returned to China, triggering concerns over national security.
Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said the telecom’s Taipei branch failed to abide by the company’s security procedures in regulating entry of individuals into its telecommunication facilities.
He said that the company had violated Article 33 of the Regulations for Administration on Fixed Network Telecommunications Business (固定通信業務管理規則), which was stipulated based on Article 14 of the Telecommunications Act.
Article 33 in the regulations states that the telecommunications facilities installed by an operator shall meet the technical requirements of telecommunications equipment.
Yu said one of the requirements was the installation of security devices, which also requires telecoms to provide information on how they regulate the entrance to and exit off telecommunications facilities.
“The commission believes the company’s failure to follow its own security procedures constitutes a serious violation and endangers the safety of the nation’s telecommunication service,” he said.
Citing Article 63 of the Telecommunications Act, which enables the administrative authority to issue a fine of between NT$300,000 and NT$3 million for the stated infringement of the law, the commission ruled to fine Chunghwa NT$2.5 million for its first violation.
In addition, the telecom was specifically instructed to educate its employees on the importance of following security procedures as well as being aware of both national and information security issues.
The commission said it would conduct random inspections of the company to ensure it has thoroughly followed security procedures.
Yu said the commission planned to add a specific chapter on information security in all regulations related to telecommunication businesses as a way to oversee information security issues within telecom operators.
In related news, the commission yesterday approved a change in the business plan proposed by the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) service operator of Global Mobile Corp, allowing it to upgrade its service technology from WiMAX 1.0 to WiMAX 2.1.
According to the commission, Global Mobile’s license is scheduled to expire in December next year. The company can apply to renew its license six to nine months prior to the expiration date.
Yu said the number of base stations installed by the company would be key in determining if the license can be renewed, adding that the company states in its business plan that it is seeking to build 1,809 base stations for its service.
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