Chunghwa Telecom union members protest against NCC’s last-mile access plans

1 Aug 2012

Staff at Taiwanese multi-service provider Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) have staged a demonstration over proposals put forward by the National Communications Commission (NCC) which aim to force the telco to offer access to its last-mile at cost price. According to The China Post, more than 1,000 labour union members protested against the proposals, claiming that the regulator’s plans are unfair considering that CHT has made significant capital investment to build up the network, while rivals have contributed nothing to the infrastructure’s development. Further, despite claims by the NCC that the change to the terms of access is intended to benefit subscribers rather than any particular business entity, the union members have argued that the plan not only fails to ensure fair market competition but that it has also infringed on CHT’s rights, harmed all CHT shareholders’ interests and threatened the livelihoods of the telco’s employees and their families.

Under the proposals put forward by the NCC, the market share of CHT’s services related to last-mile operations is expected to be reduced to between 60% and 70% from the 97% it currently stands at. The proposals meanwhile also call for CHT to create a separate and independent division to handle services related to the last-mile sector.