NCC set to force Chunghwa to offer last-mile access at cost price

27 Jul 2012

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday passed an amendment of the Telecommunications Act requiring full service telecoms provider Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) to allow access to its last mile to rivals at cost price. According to the China Post, the Executive Yuan (the executive branch of the government) is set to review the amendment by the end of this month, before submitting it to the Legislative Yuan by the end of the year. For its part CHT has argued that, having spent a significant amount of money on developing its infrastructure, the proposed legislation is unfair.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, local loop unbundling (LLU) was introduced in Taiwan in mid-2004, with CHT offering rival operators Taiwan Fixed Network, New Century InfoComm (Sparq) and Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) full access to its last mile connections. However, alternative operators have claimed that wholesale charges are too high, preventing fair competition, and this has meant that LLU has not progressed significantly. May 2006 subsequently saw the NCC announce plans to implement a new policy to end CHT’s stranglehold on the last mile, with a ruling at that date confirming that the telco’s LLU pricing was too high, with the result that alternative operators had leased fewer than 100 unbundled lines at that date. In order to improve the situation, the regulator called on the incumbent to open up its fixed line infrastructure to rivals at ‘reasonable rates’, but no further developments were reported in the ensuing years.