National Communications Commission (NCC) Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang (陳耀祥) yesterday told lawmakers that his one-hour meeting with US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brenden Carr on Wednesday afternoon did not touch on the topic of the Chinese video platform TikTok.
Carr has suggested that the US government ban the use of Tiktok, citing data security risks.
“Whether TikTok should be banned is within the authority of the US government. The situation in Taiwan and the US differs, so we did not touch on this particular issue,” Chen told Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷).
Photo courtesy of the National Communications Commission
Carr is the highest-level US official to visit the NCC since its founding in 2006, marking a major step forward in Taiwan-US relations, Chen said at the meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee.
However, as both the NCC and the FCC are collegial bodies — in which decisions are made by members reaching a consensus — any policy should be stipulated collectively by the commissioners, he said.
“Carr specializes in telecommunications and cybersecurity issues, and we arranged for NCC commissioners with relevant expertise to meet with him as well,” he said.
The NCC also shared with Carr its experience in supervising broadcast media, the commission said in a statement, adding that they exchanged views on issues related to spectrum management, satellite communications and data management.
Separately, Chen told Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) that the NCC would strive to decide on two telecom mergers within three months in view of mounting consumer complaints over telecom services.
The applications for mergers between Far EasTone Telecommunications and Asia-Pacific Telecom (APT), and between Taiwan Mobile and Taiwan Star were filed in February and March respectively.
The commission has held two separate hearings for the mergers, but it has yet to issue final decisions.
Because of the proposed mergers, APT and Taiwan Star — which would cease to exist after the mergers — have stopped investing in infrastructure, Lin said.
“The less they invest, the poorer their telecom services become. However, subscribers to APT and Taiwan Star are afraid they would be penalized if they break their contracts,” Lin said. “We have therefore seen rising complaints from customers of the two telecoms.”
Taiwan Star has 2.8 million subscribers, which accounts for only one-10th of overall telecom service subscribers nationwide, but the number of complaints filed by its subscribers accounted for one-third of all telecom complaints, Lin said.
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