Taiwanese operators face requirement to disclose important service info online from 2022

29 Mar 2021

Taiwan’s five dominant telecom services providers – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone (FET), Asia Pacific Telecom and Taiwan Star – will be required to disclose important service information on their websites, including mobile broadband speeds and coverage levels, by January 2022, the Taipei Times reports. The new requirement is expected to be introduced following the pending announcement of the ‘Service Items and Formats of Service Quality Assessment for Telecommunication’ by the National Communications Commission (NCC) next month.

According to the local press outlet, the service items and formats to be used by telecoms for self-evaluating their mobile communication services were approved at a weekly commissioners’ meeting last week, based on Article 18 of the Telecommunications Management Act. The NCC has said that operators with an annual sales revenue of more than TWD100 million (USD3.5 million) will need to start conducting these self-evaluations and disclosing key service information from the start of 2022. Meanwhile, the service items to be disclosed by providers are reportedly divided into several categories, with these understood to include download speeds, coverage levels, service rates, complaint response times, and the mechanisms used to protect subscriber’s personal data. NCC spokesman Wong Po-tsung was cited as saying that operators should assess their services annually based on the criteria stated in the categories, while it was noted that, when disclosing speeds and coverage, they should reveal the number of base transceiver stations (BTS) in each locality; they will not, however, be required to disclose exact BTS locations.

Meanwhile, the NCC has also stipulated standards for certain items that telcos should meet in their self-assessments. Specifically, mobile services should be activated by providers within two hours after an application for service is completed, while fixed line services must be activated within two days. With regards to the accuracy of billing information, this should be at least 99.85%, while calls to customer service lines should be answered within 35 seconds. In the event that an operator receives a written complaint from a subscriber, they will be required to respond in writing within 15 days.

Commenting, Wong added: ‘We would conduct inspections to check the authenticity of the service information [the operators] disclose online. If they exaggerate, they could be fined TWD500,000 to TWD5 million for failing to follow their network construction plans, based on the Telecommunications Management Act.’