Thu, May 04, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Mobile to retroactively lower fees

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大) yesterday said that it is retroactively reducing its fees for last month by 5 percent for some subscribers who were unable to access the Internet on their mobile phones for 25 minutes on Friday last week.

“Even though we are only obligated to reimburse fees to subscribers if the network is inaccessible for two hours or more, we are willing to reduce last month’s fee by 5 percent for those affected by the incident,” the company said.

The incident occurred when the company switched routers, it said, adding that it would seek compensation from the router manufacturer.

The nation’s second-largest telecom issued the statement after it was asked to report the details of the incident to the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday morning.

NCC chief secretary Hsiao Chi-hong (蕭祈宏) said that the company had to switch to a new router to be connected to the Taiwan Internet Service (TWIX) because it wanted to switch from a public network to a private network after Chunghwa Telecom lowered the private peering charge.

Although the company chose to change the router early in the morning to avoid service disruptions, a network error occurred and disabled Internet access.

Hsiao said Taiwan Mobile’s mobile Internet service was unavailable from 4:05am to 4:30am on Friday, adding that the service returned to normal after the company switched back to the old router.

“It was suspected that the company’s domain had been attacked by hackers, but it was later found that engineers forgot a command line in the computer program they used to switch to a new router, which disrupted the Internet service,” Hsiao said.

The commission said that this was the third time in the past three years that the company reported Internet service disruption.

The first was on July 18, 2015. Subscribers could not access the Internet because it was about to change a base station in Taoyuan’s Jhungli District (中壢).

The second incident occurred on June 8 last year, when errors at the telephone exchange system disconnected Internet services.

These issues exposed problems with the company’s management and operations, the NCC said.

“We are asking the company to show some determination and solutions to address these problems. The company also promised to enhance its enforcement of standardized operating procedures and personnel training,” Department of Network Infrastructure Deputy Director Hsu Kuo-gen (徐國根) said.

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