To help stave off the risk of trade sanctions, and in view of increasing recognition of the close link between fair and consistent enforcement of Taiwan's IP laws and further development of the island's hi-tech industries, the Judicial Yuan recently announced its intention to launch a study on the feasibility of establishing special courts to hear IP-related cases.
Recent legislative amendments aim to bring Taiwan's trademark regime further into line with international standards. Among other things, the amended law sets out more detailed rules on the opposition procedure, and eliminates several provisions on application review procedures which grant discretionary authority to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In a move that has drawn the ire of the United States, the Taiwan Legislative Yuan recently passed an amendment to the Copyright Law which not only failed to incorporate key provisions demanded by the United States, but also decriminalized unauthorized parallel imports of copyrighted materials.
Last year was not a good year for copyright protection and enforcement in Taiwan. However, pending legislation is a step in the right direction: copyright infringement is set to become a public crime, while increased rewards will lead to more tip-offs about counterfeiting facilities. Increased border inspection should also lead to greater detection of attempted exports.
Local companies that sell ringtones to consumers must obtain a Type II telecommunications licence; but this licence does not grant the recipient any right to use the copyrighted works of others without permission from the right holders. Many sales of ringtones which are similar to existing songs are made without authorization and thus risk attracting liability for copyright infringement.
Negotiations between Taiwan and the United States have been deadlocked for months regarding changes which the United States deems necessary to Taiwan's Copyright Law. The United States is concerned that penalties under the law are not sufficient to deter offenders, and also wants the unauthorized transient copying of copyrighted materials to be deemed a copyright violation.
When they come into force, new amendments to Taiwan's Patent Law will eliminate procedures for opposing pending patent applications and dividing existing patents, and rescind all criminal penalties for patent infringement. They will also bring Taiwan into compliance with the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) intends to introduce more competition into the converging television service market through the rezoning of digital cable television franchises and the introduction of tiered service packages. Existing operators have cautiously welcomed these policy-driven measures, but have requested further deregulation on price capping and on limitations on business expansion.
Three new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. Among other things, the new commissoners are charged with setting policy regarding the digitalisation of cable broadband services and legislative barriers to governmental bodies investing in telecommunications companies.
The National Communications Commission has decided to amend the Regulations Governing the Third Generation (3G) Mobile Telecommunications Services, adding a requirement for those who supply channel programming over 3G networks to obtain approval or licences pursuant to the same regulatory requirements as other broadcasting services.
For some time government agencies and industry players have debated whether emerging mobile television services are subject to ex ante regulation. The National Communications Commission (NCC) has now carried out two consultations to solicit public opinion and the results should help the NCC to finalize its convergence policy for such emerging services.
The National Communications Commission recently announced a plan to select candidates for a handheld television trial, with four six-month trial licences to be issued. However, a number of potential participants are concerned that the plan fails to give a clear picture of the future of handheld television in Taiwan.
Former government monopoly Chunghwa Telecom has begun providing multimedia-on-demand (MOD) services to broadband subscribers in northern Taiwan. However, Taiwan's leading cable television multi-system operators have protested that Chunghwa's pricing plan is predatory in nature and violates the Fair Trade Law, and that the regulatory system favours Chunghwa and thus preculdes free competition.
The Executive Yuan has established the Preparatory Office of the new telecommunications and broadcasting authority, the National Communications Commission. The commission will be an independent regulator whose scope of authority will encompass the regulation of telecommunications, electronic information and broadcasting businesses.
Despite the hype, digital and interactive television have proved a turn-off for consumers, with over-restrictive government regulations and insufficient digital content being blamed for slow growth. However, new tax incentives, digital content provider loans and the lifting of caps on pay channels and other programmes suggest that Taiwan's digital strategy may now be on the right wavelength.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry is continuing in its action against Taiwan's two leading peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing websites. The homes of two subscribers have also been raided, reflecting the recording industry's global legal attempt to cut off funding to P2P service providers by attacking their subscriber base.
The Government Information Office recently published its Billing Standard for Cable Television System Operators, authorizing cable providers to charge additional rates for premium services. Operators will now have the opportunity to begin distribution of digital set-top boxes, laying the groundwork for digital broadcasting and interactive television.
Concerns have been voiced that Taiwan needs a media watchdog organization which can strike a balance between reasonable monitoring of press content and unreasonable censorship of the press. As a professional, objective and independent super-regulator of the entire media sector, it is hoped that the proposed National Communications Commission will remain neutral in business and politics.
Taiwan is gearing up for the next phase in the development of its cable industry: multi-tiered offerings of services including high-speed internet access, digital video programming and interactive television. However, this has been put on hold until the government determines how to set the rates for such services.
The Government Information Office is considering amendments to the broadcasting regime which would relax foreign ownership restrictions, allow for multi-tiered cable fee structures and require telecommunications broadcasters to obtain proper licences. The changes would stimulate digital broadcasting and the convergence of the telecommunications and cable broadcasting industries.
The Executive Yuan recently released its digital state project, aiming for a total investment of no less than $5.31 billion in the innovative economy between 2017 and 2025 for fast integration into next-generation broadband development. The National Communications Commission has stated that the broadband environment will be gradually upgraded to 2,000 megabits per second, with 90% coverage nationwide by the end of 2025.
In October 2016 the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communications Commission will finalise the spectrum re-farming proposal for review and approval. The authorities are considering full deployment of 5G infrastructure and further mobile and wireless application. Discussions are also taking place on the proposed improvement to auction rules for the assignment, in the hope that no dispute will occur regarding the swap of auctioned frequencies.
Six new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. The commissioners recently issued a press release stating that they will re-write the draft amendments to the existing Telecommunications Act and other broadcasting regulations. Further, they have confirmed that they will identify and release more spectrum for mobile broadband services and unlicensed bands for the Internet of Things.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications are looking into a request for a dedicated bandwidth allocation in the 865 megahertz band that was filed by the Taiwan Power Company. The NCC recently announced its review of a spectrum assignment plan regarding the uses of low-tier radio frequency equipment and subsequently released more spectrum for the Internet of Things.
All five of the 4G long-term evolution operators in Taiwan have launched a public warning system via the cell broadcasting centre for sending instant emergency and disaster alerts to 4G mobile users. The public warning system uses cell broadcast technology and is not affected by network congestion. It can transmit a specific message through an independent channel simultaneously to millions of mobile users for emergency and disaster notice.
The National Communications Commission recently concluded its review on the spectrum assignment plan regarding uses of low-tier radio frequency equipment and has released further spectrum for the Internet of Things. It is a follow-up to a previous invitation for public consultation – mainly from manufacturers of wearable technology – regarding a possible plan on frequency allocation for the Internet of Things which would support numerous applications.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is coordinating with the National Communications Commission for re-farming the 3G spectrum in the 2,100 megahertz (MHz) band and 800MHz band. The ministry has determined that the 800MHz band will be reserved for public protection and disaster relief. Provided that public protection and disaster relief always have priority, a certain frequency in the 800MHz band could be assigned to mobile broadband service.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has released its legislative proposal on five new laws to replace the Telecommunications Act, Terrestrial Radio and Television Act, Cable Television and Radio Act and Satellite Broadcasting Act. The NCC clarified that the new proposal does not suggest any business separation or entity spin-off of existing telecommunications carriers and licensed operators.
Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) recently announced the five winners of the 2,600 megahertz spectrum licence auction. The government will receive a total of NT$27.925 billion from the winners. The NCC has also disclosed its proposed measures for the secondary trade of spectrum rights, which is expected to boost trading between existing 4G operators which are spectrum listed for mobile broadband licences.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) is about to remove the final barrier to its upcoming auction of mobile broadband communication licences for fourth-generation long-term evolution. An administrative hearing will soon be held and the findings will be the basis for a further NCC decision regarding the survival of Global Mobile Corp, the only remaining wireless broadband alliance service operator.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently gave the green light for industry to harness the benefits of innovative new wireless technology. The NCC plans to release television white space in the 500 megahertz (MHz) to 600MHz band used by licensed terrestrial broadcasters for very high frequency and ultra high frequency, and is evaluating a potential interference issue alongside the release of identified frequencies to be allocated to the Internet of Things.
The National Communications Commission recently completed its plan for the band currently used for wireless broadband access (WBA) services and its adjacent band. It will be used to offer mobile broadband communication licences for fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE). Incumbents have expressed concern that WBA services on the same band will interfere with the upcoming deployment of frequency division duplex LTE.
Chunghwa Telecom has announced plans to launch its own-brand over-the-top content service and G.fast broadband internet-access services. It has also clarified that the application of G.fast technology on its copper wire networks is unlikely to defer future deployment of its new fibre-to-the-home networks.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has released its spectrum provision plan for 2015 and beyond. Analysis of existing spectrum use has been updated and a plan for future use is in consideration. The plan is subject to the ministry's annual review and amendments and the National Communications Commission will implement it by issuing new regulations.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) intends to improve the broadband access available to general users for fixed-line networks. FarEastone recently became the first incumbent to render its second-generation licence to the NCC in order to accelerate fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution deployment. The NCC has also announced a fibre-to-the-home enforcement measure for new-build residential and office buildings.
The success of the 2013 auction of mobile broadband communication licences for fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution has been tarnished by accusations of financial game playing and spectrum grabbing levelled by Taiwan's most powerful consumer lobbying organisation. The National Communications Commission is set to review its mobile virtual network operator policy as a result.
The National Communications Commission is pushing to conclude its regulation on converging digital communications and existing telecoms, radio and television industries. It has released a lengthy document on pending regulatory issues and practical measures for spectrum liberalisation and is planning to hold a conference inviting comments from interested parties.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently approved an extension of the use of the dedicated frequency in the 900 megahertz (MHz) band for electronic toll collection. According to the NCC, fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) subscriber numbers are set to continue increasing rapidly. The NCC noted that interference with the 4G LTE licence band should be avoided.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed a possible plan on frequency allocation for the Internet of Things which would support numerous applications. An NCC spokesman has said that the switch to digital television has freed up large areas of very high frequency and ultra high frequency bands and around 50 megahertz could be reserved for applications for the Internet of Things.
The government is looking into a potential threat to users' privacy further to reports that imported Xiaomi smartphones have been sending users' data back to China without consent. The Executive Yuan has stated that the government will decide whether there should be a ban on the domestic sale of Xiaomi smartphones. The National Communications Commission is conducting independent tests on the smartphones.
To promote the penetration of fourth generation services in Taiwan, the National Communications Commission has decided to offer the 57-64 megahertz band to mobile broadband operators for the deployment of trunk networks through the construction of small cell and femtocell. This band will be licence exempt, with no bidding, licence fee or spectrum-usage fee required.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communications Commission (NCC) have recently confirmed that the NCC will release the 2600 megahertz band by auction for more fourth generation (4G) services. However, the proposal is not necessarily welcome. Critics have highlighted serious interference from new 4G services on microphones deployed by television stations in adjacent frequencies.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has released the draft Recommendations and Strategies Concerning Legal Amendments Relating to Communications Convergence, planning to solicit public opinion in the upcoming months. The NCC has stressed that when regulations are amended in future, deregulation will be pursued and the regulatory framework will be geared towards flexible layering.
The Transportation Committee of the Legislative Yuan has requested that the National Communications Commission (NCC) impose a comprehensive ban on all China-made network equipment proposed by 4G operators for system construction. The NCC has stated that not using Chinese brands will not affect the construction schedule of operators.
The National Communications Commission has announced that 190MHz from the 2600MHz bands used by wireless broadband access operators will be available by the end of 2014. It stated that it will no longer approve mergers or grant licence renewals among worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) operators, as it now believes that all WiMAX operators have inefficient spectrum use on the 2600MHz bands.
Following completion of the competitive bidding process for licensing mobile broadband services, the National Communications Commission (NCC) issued establishment permits to six operators. It publicly announced that it urges all six 4G operators to launch 4G services during the third quarter of 2014. However, the operators have expressed their discontent about the NCC's cumbersome review procedure.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently gathered public opinion on issues such as fixed-line bandwidth competition and last-mile equal access and held a hearing to which all relevant telecommunications operators were invited to convey their opinions. The NCC has yet to confirm whether it will submit a complete draft convergence act to the Executive Yuan.
National securities authorities have warned the National Communications Commission and requested that telecommunications operators stop the procurement of network communications equipment manufactured by suppliers in China, such as Huawei. Huawei is reportedly upset about the governmental control measures.
The National Communications Commission recently announced that the Regulation Governing Mobile Communications Services will be amended to compel mobile operators to agree under their subscription contract to provide seven days' free internet service to subscribers for the purpose of evaluation. Consumers will have the right to request a minimum seven-day free trial before entering into a contract with mobile operators.
The competitive tender for 4G licences began recently with the participation of four incumbent operators and three new operators. The government has indicated that the tender "has overheated" and consumer advocates have openly criticised the design of the 4G tender rules for being problematic.
Taiwan and China have agreed to the mutual liberalisation of the telecommunications service sector under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services. Under the agreement, Taiwan will open Type II telecommunications businesses and China will open four additional services to Taiwanese investors. However, Taiwan will still impose restrictions, including a shareholding cap on Chinese investors.
The Executive Yuan recently concluded that the National Communications Commission (NCC) should reconsider its draft proposal to the amendment of the Telecommunications Act. It stated that the NCC is expected to present a new communications convergence regulation replacing all existing broadcasting laws by the end of March 2014.The NCC responded that it will attempt to meet the deadline.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has been under fire for its proposed compulsory measures in the draft amendment of the Telecommunications Act to assist further content owners whose rights may be infringed by file sharing. The NCC insists that it has no intention of intervening in content surveillance, but yields to the rulings of relevant government agencies whenever a blockade is technically available.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that the 4G auction will be conducted in November 2013. Subject to the NCC's approval, bid winners which are mobile phone business operators may apply to assign to each other based on the same bandwidth conditions. The NCC expects that within five years, up to 500 megahertz of bandwidth will be available through auction for more mobile broadband services.
China Mobile and FarEasTone recently announced that the share transfer agreement executed between them in 2009 will expire in June 2013. In addition, the two companies will not discuss equity investment again until the Taiwanese authorities lift the ban prohibiting Chinese citizens and legal entities from investing in the Taiwanese telecommunications industry.
The National Communications Commission had planned to resolve existing disputes regarding network interconnections between major telecommunications operators by amending the existing Regulations Governing Network Interconnections between Telecommunications Enterprises by the end of 2012. However, this objective was not achieved and a hearing is due to be conducted on April 25 2013.
Further to its efforts to introduce functional separation in Chunghwa Telecom in the latest amendments to the Telecommunications Act, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has again submitted a legislative proposal to the Executive Yuan for approval. The NCC has proposed that Chunghwa Telecom should always offer equal prices for the provision of access, if functional separation is not approved.
The National Communications Commission recently announced that mobile access tariffs will be adjusted. The commission believes that easing retail price control in the mobile communications market will help to reduce the burden on smaller operators and guide market competitors to further reduce retail prices.
The National Communications Commission plans to deregulate spectrum trading in 2013. However, major telecommunications operators are sceptical about the fast-changing policy and have questioned whether it is realistic to implement a spectrum trading system in less than a year when a draft regulation has not yet been made available for public consultation.
The National Communications Commission has announced that the Regulations Governing Network Interconnections Among Telecommunications Operators will be amended, and network interconnections between three major operators will soon be required to be free of charge. The newly amended regulations will also require other operators to invest in infrastructure in order to enjoy free interconnections.
The National Communications Commission has announced that from 2013, three frequency bands – 700 megahertz (MHz), 900MHz and 1800MHz – which are equivalent to the bandwidth of 135MHz x 2 will be released for auction. However, the most surprising news is that the frequency bands will be released in units of 5MHz x 2, which some see as a revenue-raising tactic by the government.
The Legislative Yuan organised a special session to approve the four new commissioners of the National Communications Commission nominated by the premier. Although all legislators from the opposition parties and some ruling party legislators voted against the nominees, all four still received a majority of the votes and have now taken office.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications recently solicited public opinions regarding the deregulation of new mobile communications services (ie, the attention-grabbing plan for fourth-generation (4G) licensing). According to the consultation paper released by the ministry, the scope of 4G licensing will be limited to 700 megahertz (MHz), 900 MHz and 1800 MHz in the future under the principle of technology neutrality.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has recognised Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and FarEasTone as dominant players in the mobile communications service market for Type I telecommunications enterprises. According to statistics released by the NCC, third-generation has become the mainstream technology of mobile communications in Taiwan, with a subscriber base in excess of 21 million.
The National Communications Commission recently conducted a public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act. The changes include a proposed functional separation of Chunghwa Telecom, so that its last-mile connection is released and can be shared by all telecommunications operators. The company opposes what it believes to be tantamount to a structural break-up.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs recently announced the third wave of sectors which have been opened to investment by Chinese investors. Type I telecommunications businesses still have not been deregulated. Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer, has been seeking to set up a subsidiary in Taiwan; however, it has yet to obtain approval from the Taiwanese government.
After approving Chunghwa Telecom's application for the Kinmen-Xiamen Submarine Cable Deployment Project, the National Communications Commission has now further approved a submarine cable link between Taiwan and China's Fujian Province. The entire project is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2012.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has officially requested that telecommunications operators which provide internet services should guarantee the minimum speed and bandwidth set forth in their promotional programmes. The NCC released its new requirement immediately after the Fair Trade Commission imposed a NT$5 million fine on Chunghwa Telecom for false and misleading advertising.
The National Communications Commission has approved Chunghwa Telecom's most recent plan for a uniform tariff for local and domestic long-distance calls nationwide. Local and long-distance calls from a household fixed-line phone will now be charged at NT$1.60 (US$0.05) per three minutes. During discounted time slots, calls will be charged be at NT$1 per three minutes – this is the lowest local call tariff worldwide.
Hopes have been raised for an earlier launch of fourth-generation (4G) operations by the news that the Science and Technology Advisory Group of the Executive Yuan is coordinating with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the National Communications Commission on plans to use the 700 megahertz spectrum or idle frequency bands around 2.6 gigahertz for 4G services.
The National Communications Commission has approved Chunghwa Telecom's application for the Kinmen-Xiamen Submarine Cable Deployment Project. The cable will initially have a bandwidth capacity transmission speed of 9.6 terabytes per second. According to Chunghwa Telecom, the project is scheduled for completion by March 2012 and the construction cost is estimated at around $14 million.
As part of Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile's plans to expand their networks and base stations in order to provide high-speed internet access and accommodate ever-growing mobile internet access demands, they intend to break away from the current system in which no differentiation is made between heavy and light users. However, the National Communications Commission opposes this plan.
The government is once again considering WiMAX deregulation and its possible future. The Executive Yuan recently called a meeting to review strategies to address the plight of WiMAX operators. Among the proposals, the Ministry of Economic Affairs recommended that operators be allowed to consolidate among themselves before they are required to achieve the deployment threshold of 70% population coverage.
The National Communications Commission has confirmed that it has sent letters to all telecommunications operators in order to compel them to submit a list of all the network equipment included in past and present procurement projects that was manufactured by Chinese vendors.
Chunghwa Telecom has lowered its retail prices for both its 50Mbps/3Mbps and 20Mbps/2Mbps FTTx broadband services in the hope that the promotional plan would enable most broadband users to upgrade to the higher speed plans. In light of various reasons, the National Communications Commission urged Chunghwa to lower its wholesale prices for FTTx services, but it did so by between 1% and 2.5% only.
The Taipei High Administrative Court recently upheld the National Communications Commission decision to force Chunghwa Telecom to remove certain restrictions on its fibre-to-the-home high-speed internet service, Hinet FTTx. In deciding to apply the net neutrality principle narrowly, the NCC appears to have set out its position regarding non-discrimination in the provision of telecommunications services.
The National Communications Commission has confirmed a unified rate of telephone calls from offshore islands to anywhere on the Taiwanese mainland. This is the first step in achieving the goal of 'unified rate' calls nationwide, which means that there will be no more long-distance calls in Taiwan. The commission announced that the new measure will come into effect from early 2012.
The National Communications Commission has decided to loosen the restrictions on Chunghwa Telecom's multimedia-on-demand service by amending the Cable Television Act. With this amendment, the NCC has allowed Chunghwa Telecom to integrate vertically in order to compete with cable multiple system operators which enjoy similar market conditions.
After lengthy discussions and intensive legal work, the National Communications Commission has finally announced that international submarine cable operators may apply for licences to deploy direct submarine cables across the strait between Taiwan and China.
The National Communications Commission has announced its amendments to the Regulations Governing Fixed-Network Telecommunications Businesses, allowing for the development of direct submarine cables across the straits between Taiwan and China. The relevant legal matters have now been approved.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has announced plans to allow cables to be laid connecting Taiwan and other offshore islands to China. However, the National Communications Commission will continue to restrict mutual investment between cross-strait telecommunications operators.
Three new commissioners have been inaugurated into the National Communications Commission. Su Herng, Chang Si-chung and Wei Shyuo-wen succeeded Bonnie Peng, Lee Ta-sung and Hsieh Chin-nan. Commissioner Liu Chorng-jian was appointed to a second term. All the new commissioners are from the academic sphere.
The Executive Yuan has announced the Digital Convergence Development Policy in order to initiate a two-stage legislative overhaul and develop digital convergence industries. The government plans to relax the restrictions on cross-ownership of telecommunications, broadcasting and internet-based businesses.
In a move that has come as no surprise to the market, Taiwan's third-largest telecommunications company, Far EasTone Telecommunications Co, has announced that its board has approved a public tender offer for shares of its fixed-line subsidiary, New Century InfoComm Tech Co. Far EasTone thus becomes the third operator providing fixed-mobile convergence services.
According to an official, following Intel's unexpected move to dissolve its taskforce on worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) technology, the government plans to review its national fourth-generation (4G) wireless policy. Although Taiwan is one of the strongest supporters of WiMAX technology, equipment makers and operators are concerned about the rise of Long-Term Evolution technology – its 4G rival.
The director general of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications's Department of Post and Telecommunications has announced a plan to release at least five new licences for fourth-generation mobile technologies. Critics argue that the plan appears to invite only those players with deep pockets into the auction process and may force smaller players to consolidate or merge before entering the process.
The National Communications Commission has approved a policy to shift the right to determine the price of a local-to-mobile phone call from the mobile operators to the fixed network operators from January 1 2011. It is estimated that the price of local-to-mobile calls could drop by up to 60%.
The National Communications Commission has reacted positively to the news that Taiwan's incumbent Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access operators intend to convert to Long Term Evolution technology, which is considered to be a fourth-generation mobile technology.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has rejected Chunghwa Telecom's plan to upgrade low-speed ADSL services (ie, those in the 256 kilobytes per second (Kbps) to 512 Kbps, 1 megabit per second (Mbps) to 2 Mbps, and 2 Mbps to 3 Mbps ranges) free of charge due to fears over market competition and quality of service.
The National Communications Commission has issued the final worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) regional licence to First International Telecom. All six WiMAX operators have obtained operation licences to provide mobile broadband servicse in Taiwan since they were awarded regional licences in August 2007.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced a proposal to amend the Regulations Governing Tariffs of Type I Telecommunications Enterprises with respect to wholesale price regulation of operators with significant market power. The NCC aims to lower transaction costs among the telecommunications operators and promote the competitiveness of the telecommunications market.
The National Communications Commission has announced an amendment to Article 13 of the Regulations on Telecommunications Universal Service, providing that it may, by March 1 of the year before the year of implementation, announce and appoint the incumbent operators or other Type I telecommunications operators to offer universal data services to specified remote villages.
Taiwan and China have formally signed three new cooperation agreements in the telecommunications sector. However, the National Communications Commission maintained its position regarding the prohibition of Chinese investment in Type I telecommunications operators, despite the fact that the proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China is likely to be signed in the near future.
The National Communications Commission has announced a rate reduction plan to cut significantly nationwide mobile phone service rates, reasoning that the cuts will benefit carriers in the long run. The decision has upset many players in the telecommunications industry, which reject the commission's reasoning, oppose its policy and have threatened to appeal should the cuts be implemented.
The National Communications Commission has agreed upon a new rate plan for Internet Protocol peering fees provided by Chunghwa Telecom in order to ease tensions among other internet service providers, including Taiwan Fixed Network. The commission hopes that the savings made by the ISPs due to the reduced peering fees will be passed on to consumers.
The National Communications Commission and Far Eastone Telecommunication (FET) have announced that the first steps have been taken towards reducing the digital divide in certain remote villages by using lines also used for electric power transmission to carry the data needed to provide broadband services. FET will offer free broadband access with speeds of at least two megabits per second to the area until 2011.
The National Communications Commission has announced plans to screen the Internet Protocol peering fees annually rather than biennially, in order to settle the dispute regarding the calculation of such fees payable by Taiwan Fixed Network to Chunghwa Telecom.
Representatives of China and Taiwan have signed a declaration which, among other things, opens the doors to Chinese investment in Taiwan. Just three days later, Far EasTone Telecommunications Limited announced its plans for a strategic cooperation agreement and a share subscription agreement with China Mobile Limited, the world's largest mobile telecommunications operator.
If a proposed bill to amend the Telecommunications Act is passed in the forthcoming general assembly meeting, not only will existing second and third-generation operators be threatened with the removal of their base stations, but the would-be operators of Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access will be left with nowhere to construct their base stations.
The National Communications Commission has approved the Procedure on Public Offerings of Mobile Operators. Mobile operators (including third-generation mobile operators) and 1900 megahertz digital low-tier cordless telephone operators are required to comply with certain measures in order to allow for the supervision of their financial management.
For the third consecutive year the three largest mobile network companies in Taiwan have been ordered to cut the rates charged on the most expensive second-generation (2G) mobile network calls, local calls to 2G mobile networks and calls made using prepaid cards. These cuts amount to an overall price decrease of almost 15%, and have been widely criticized by players in the industry.
Since the new National Communications Commission was formed in August 2008, the seven newly elected commissioners have attempted to complete the tasks left unfinished by the previous commissioners, while also setting out new policy goals. The commision has published its Middle-Term Policy Plan for 2009 to 2012, so as to distinguish it from the first-term policy plan established by the predecessors in 2006.
Taiwan Mobile has refused to pay Internet Protocol (IP) peering fees to Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's largest internet service provider, arguing that IP peering between providers should be free. It has filed a claim with the National Communications Commission under Article 28 of the Regulations on Network Interconnection among Telecommunications Enterprises, requesting the commission's arbitration.
The National Communications Commission has proposed an amendment to the Regulations Governing the Telecommunications Universal Service which would facilitate the use of universal service funds and empower the regulator to choose the remote villages in need of broadband network infrastructure under the universal service regime.
The National Communications Commission has proposed amendments to the Regulations on Wireless Broadband Access Services. Among other things, the amendments define the terms 'multimedia services' and 'content of channel' and oblige worldwide interoperability for microwave access operators to obtain approvals or licences under broadcasting laws before offering content through multimedia services.
In order to allow the Mobile Taiwan National Project to utilize its experimental equipment and base stations, the National Communications Commission has approved amendments to the regulations governing wireless broadband access service. These pave the way for the use of experimental base stations for commercial purposes.
The National Communications Commission recently reviewed the Organization Act and proposed several changes in order to bring it into line with the demands of independent regulation. These changes include a relaxation of the qualification thresholds for entry into the commission and amendments to the scope of each commissioner's role.
The Appeal Committee of the National Communications Commission (NCC) recently revoked a ban on Chunghwa Telecom acquiring shares in a new worldwide interoperability for microwave access operator imposed by the previous NCC commissioners. This is the first case in which a resolution made by previous commissioners has been dismissed.
Taiwan's three dominant mobile operators have confirmed plans to incorporate Long-Term Evolution into their second-generation and third-generation systems. However, the government and network-equipment manufacturers still seem positive about the prospects for the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access industry. There is thus uncertainty as to which technology will ultimately prevail.
The National Communications Commission has rejected an application by First International Telecom, one of the six WiMAX licence holders and the only personal handy-phone system operator in Taiwan, to spin off its WiMAX business from its personal handy-phone system operation to its wholly owned subsidiary.
The Legislative Yuan recently approved the nominations for the next term commissioners of the National Communications Commission (NCC). Although some critical issues regarding the NCC Organization Act were resolved in 2007, several problematic issues concerning the organization and functions of the NCC remain to be dealt with. Therefore, the NCC has published proposed amendments to the act.
To facilitate the network deployment of Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), the National Communications Commission is currently amending the Regulations on Wireless Broadband Access Services in order to allow WiMAX licensees to obtain the experimental base stations that are part of the Mobile Taiwan National Project.
Following the completion of its 2007 Broadband Access to Every Village project, the National Communications Commission (NCC) is aiming to extend the construction of the broadband network infrastructure to further remote areas in 2008. The NCC has appointed three companies to offer universal data services for broadband access to 50 mountain villages in 12 different counties.
Although the Internet Telephony Service (ITS) was opened up to operators in 2005, to date no licensed ITS providers have launched their services due to ongoing negotiations of network interconnection agreements with Chunghwa Telecom. In order to introduce competition into the market, the National Communications Commission has ruled that Chunghwa will have no pricing rights on the ITS until the end of 2010.
The National Communications Commission rejected Chunghwa Telecom’s proposal to acquire shares in a new worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) operator, Global Mobile Co, after Chunghwa failed in a bid for a WiMAX licence in 2007. The reaction of the press and the industry suggests that the NCC's scrutiny could discourage potential investors from nurturing this new industry.
Taiwan's mobile operators are required to reduce certain primary tariff plans by at least 4.88% each year under a three-year mandatory price-cutting plan. The National Communications Commission recently approved the cuts for mobile services and asymmetric digital subscriber line services for 2008. Ostensibly designed to benefit consumers directly, the policy's real intention seems to be to stimulate competition.
In order to comply with the adjustment of the value of the Production Efficiency Index in the price cap formula, the National Communications Commission is to implement a new accounting rule providing for detailed separate accounting for the telecommunications industry. The rule will be applied retroactively to cover financial statements and other reporting materials from 2006 onwards.
After mutual concessions by the ruling and opposition parties, the Taiwanese Congress (the Legislative Yuan) passed the Amendment to Article 4 of the National Communications Commission (NCC) Organization Act on December 20 2007. The amendment, which became effective from January 9 2008, dramatically changes the formation of the NCC and the manner in which commissioners are nominated.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced its completion of the Broadband Access to Every Village project, which was designed to reduce the digital divide between urban and rural areas, following the NCC's amendment of the Regulations Governing the Telecommunications Universal Service in December 2006 to incorporate broadband internet access within the scope of the universal service.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) has decided to shift the right to determine the price of local-to-mobile calls from the termination side (ie, mobile operators) to the originating side (ie, fixed network operators) from January 1 2011. However, the NCC has also ordered the local phone division of Chunghwa Telecom to reimburse mobile operators for the revenue loss caused by the shift.