Thu, Mar 14, 2019 - Page 2 News List

NCC asks lawmakers to pass telecoms act

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday expressed the hope that a draft telecommunications management act would pass a legislative committee review today to facilitate 5G system development in the nation.

The proposed bill is designed to replace the Telecommunications Act (電信法) in view of rapid changes in the telecommunications industry.

The Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee had arranged to review the bill on Monday and today.

The committee on Monday approved 83 articles of the draft act, NCC spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said, leaving 13 articles for deliberation today.

“The act would facilitate the release of operating licenses for the 5G system, as it would allow frequency and network sharing. It would also allow innovative service providers to lease a frequency,” he said.

The remaining 13 articles concern issues related to charging telecoms frequency fees and installing telecommunications facilities inside residential buildings, Wong said.

As for the 83 articles approved by the committee, they include incentive bidding, which encourages radio and television broadcasters to voluntarily return frequencies to the NCC so that they can be available for auction again, he said.

Tier-I and Tier-II telecom operators currently differ in that the former offer telecome services by building the networks themselves, whereas the latter provide the service by leasing networks built by Tier-I operators.

The proposed act would also give telecom operators the liberty of being just an Infrastructure provider operating wholesale telecom business.

In other developments, the government has activated a “national security mechanism” to address concerns over the Web site, after it was found to promote China’s “31 incentives” to attract Taiwanese, Wong said, adding that the commission would follow instructions from national security officials.

The commission is in charge of allocating Internet resources, but does not have the authority to block or take down any Web site, he said.

It can only do so to comply with a court ruling or requests from government agencies handling national security affairs, he said.

Because the Web site is registered in Taiwan, the commission would work with the Taiwan Network Information Center, which is charge of Web site registration in the nation, in handling this matter, he said.

NCC Department of Network Infrastructure Director Luo Chin-shian (羅金賢) said that the government is obligated to oversee Web sites registered in Taiwan, and the commission would follow standard operating procedures issued by national security agencies in handling this Web site, which contains information on cross-strait affairs.

When people register their Web sites in Taiwan, they must sign an agreement that contains clauses concerning national security, Luo said, in response to concerns that taking action against the Web site would infringe on freedom of speech.

Asked if the registrant is Taiwanese or a foreigner and if it could elaborate on the standard operating procedures, Luo said that these questions can only be answered by national security officials.

The commission has been following the same procedure in imposing a ban on telecoms using Chinese equipment, Luo said.

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