According to the China Post, Taiwanese telecoms regulator the National Communications Commission (NCC) has rejected a proposal from Chunghwa Telecom to implement reduced call tariffs between offshore islands and the mainland. Chunghwa’s proposal would have seen a price reduction for calls originating on Kinmen, Matsu, Penghu and Wuchiu, bringing the rates in line with local call charges, rather than the long-distance rates that are currently charged. However, Chunghwa intended to preserve long-distance rates for calls being made between the mainland and the islands.
The China Post claims that the NCC rejected the proposal as it violates a prior resolution made by the Transport Committee, which requires all phone calls between the mainland and the islands to be treated as local calls, regardless of where the calls originate. NCC officials have reportedly requested that Chunghwa Telecom now come up with an amendment to the proposal as soon as possible, so that the tariff reduction can proceed as originally planned; a start date of 1 April has been mooted for the transition.
In January 2011 the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demanded that call rates to Taoyuan should be unified within six months, whilst the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) requested that Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu all enjoy the same charges as mainland Taiwan within a year. Chunghwa president Chang Shaio-tung opposed the plans, saying that his company stood to lose TWD3.58 billion (USD122.6 million) from the unification scheme, suggesting that the entire process is likely to take between four and five years to implement properly.