NCC to liberalise geographical coverage for cable TV operations

6 Apr 2010

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has announced a draft amendment to the Cable Radio and Television Act which removes the existing limits on the geographical scope of cable operations. The existing act divides Taiwan into 51 market areas for cable TV operation and allows an operator to have only one market area. There are 63 operators across the 51 market areas, with most belonging to five multi-system operators (MSOs) and the remaining being independent, NCC noted.

Since most market areas are each monopolised by a single MSO, the amendment seeks to use city or county boundaries as a base for regrouping the markets into ones bigger than the present areas, and allows MSOs to operate in more than a city or county through setting up own networks or using networks on lease, NCC indicated.

However, new networks to be set up by newcomers or existing operators should provide digital broadcasting in line with the government’s policies of cable TV digitization, NCC said. The existing cap that an MSO’s user base should not exceed one-third of the total number of subscribers for all operators will remain to allow sufficient competition in the market.