Complaints about telecom services surged by 75 percent annually in June, as more people worked and studied from home amid a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert, National Communications Commission (NCC) data showed this week.
The Central Epidemic Command Center on May 19 raised the alert to level 3 amid a domestic outbreak.
The commission received 619 complaints in May, up 43 percent from a year earlier, and 759 in June, up 75 percent, the data showed.
When Taiwan was under the level 3 alert for the entire month of June, complaints from customers of all the nation’s five telecoms increased, the commission said.
Complaints at one firm even spiked 150 percent, it said.
The commission said that 69.7 percent of complaints that month were about the quality of mobile phone services, the agency said.
The average data usage per person in May rose 11 to 14 percent compared with April and surged 18 to 19 percent in June, the data showed.
Users of broadband services by Chunghwa Telecom or five main multiple system operators also increased 1.18 percent from May to July, the data showed.
The rise in complaints can be attributed to two main reasons: increased usage and maintenance challenges amid the pandemic, commission Vice Chairman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
“Many people started working or studying from home under the virus alert and primarily used their mobile phones to go online. This caused base stations in hot spots to overload and slow down connections,” he said, adding that the pandemic prevented telecoms from sending technicians to people’s homes to work on improving signal reception.
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