Tue, May 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Telecoms to be required to report facility problems

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Telecoms are soon to be required to report disrupted service due to facility malfunctions to administrative authorities, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday, adding they would be required to file a report within 15 minutes after they have been working to solve the problem for at least 30 minutes.

Telecoms failing to comply with the rule would face a fine of between NT$300,000 and NT$3 million (US$9,928 and US$99,279) and would be required to address the problem within a designated period of time, based on Article 63 of the Telecommunications Act (電信法).

Should the problem persist, the commission could either continue fining the carrier until the problem is addressed or revoke its operating license.

Disruption of telecom services caused by malfunctioning facilities has come under public scrutiny after Chunghwa Telecom told its users on April 22 that they would experience slight delays in its HiNet Internet service because its submarine cable system, Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2, was broken.

The company said the cable was snapped either by fishing trawlers or because of rust, and estimated that normal Internet connection speeds would resume on Monday.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Mobile subscribers early on Tuesday last week were unable to access the Internet on their mobile phones for 25 minutes.

Department of Network Infrastructure deputy director Hsu Kuo-gen (徐國根) said the commission — through amendments of the Regulations for Administration of Fixed Network Telecommunications Business and the Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses — has stipulated the procedures that telecoms should undertake when handling service disruptions.

Because the amendments have not been made public, the commission cannot use them in their handling of the cases, Hsu said.

However, Hsu said it has asked Chunghwa Telecom to borrow bandwidth from other submarine cable operators before it fixes the damaged cable, adding that the company has secured 120 Gigabits per second to help ease Internet traffic congestion.

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