Wed, Nov 11, 2015 - Page 4 News List

NCC withholds renewal of Global Mobile license

NEGOTIATIONS:Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng is to oversee talks on amendments to three broadcasting laws, including a NT$100 cap on cable TV service fees

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday decided against renewing the license of WiMAX service provider Global Mobile, marking the end of WiMAX offerings in the nation.

The commission made the decision after an administrative hearing on Thursday last week that lasted almost six hours.

Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that Global Mobile’s license renewal application was first reviewed by an ad hoc group, which recommended that the license not be renewed, a recommendation that the commissioners agreed with.

“The group found that the carrier did not follow through on its plan to build service infrastructure over the past six years, nor did it fulfill commitments in its business plan,” Yu said.

The license, if renewed, would have allowed the company to continue operations for another six years after its current license expires on Dec. 10, but the commissioners had doubts about the firm’s ability to continue offering services throughout that span of time, Yu said.

The commission issued an official statement that said Global Mobile’s operations would be officially terminated on Dec. 10

The company is obligated to inform its customers at least one month in advance about the termination of service, the statement said.

The statement added that the commission would follow the same course of action it took when it handled the bankruptcy of First International Telecom Corp (大眾電信), which is to ask all 4G telecom service operators to inherit Global Mobile customers and their telephone numbers.

It also said that it would cooperate with the Ministry of Labor to help Global Mobile employees find new jobs at other telecoms or in different fields of work.

“We ask that Global Mobile, as a Tier I telecom business operator, fulfill its corporate responsibility to society and stop using its employees and customers as tools to fight for its own interests,” the commission said in the statement.

Meanwhile, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is today scheduled to preside over negotiations on proposed amendments to the three existing broadcasting laws: the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法); the Cable Television Act (有線電視法); and the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法).

The proposed amendments secured the preliminary approval of the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee in 2012, but have yet to receive general legislative approval.

Several issues, including the number of must-carry channels included in cable TV services, are considered key to determining whether the amendments will finally be passed.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union has also proposed a cap on the monthly fee for cable TV services to NT$100.

The Satellite Television Broadcasting Association has opposed requiring cable operators to carry all terrestrial TV channels, while the Cable Broadband Institute in Taiwan said that the NT$100 cable fee cap would damage the TV industry, and in turn hurt consumers’ interests.

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