The National Communications Commission (NCC) has approved Chunghwa Telecom’s most recent plan for a uniform tariff for local and domestic long-distance calls nationwide. As from January 1 2012, local and long-distance calls from a household fixed-line phone will be charged at NT$1.60 (US$0.05) per three minutes.
The NCC’s success in compelling Chunghwa to adopt a uniform tariff for domestic long-distance and local calls is tantamount to a tacit confession that the objective of the second telecommunications liberalisation – which the Directorate General of Telecommunications (the former telecommunications authority) has been attempting to achieve since 2000 – has been aborted. This also signifies that Chunghwa will now legally monopolise the Taiwanese market. As far as Chunghwa is concerned, the NCC’s decision is not acceptable to its shareholders (the company’s foreign shareholding has dropped from a peak of almost 45% to today’s 24%). It could be that the shares sold by foreign investors in the stock market are mostly being purchased by large government-controlled funds, making it all the more difficult for Chunghwa to rid itself of the state-owned enterprise role which the government has imposed on it.
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