The National Communications Commission (hereinafter, the “NCC”) adopted a resolution during the 494th Commissioners’ Meeting on July 18, 2012 and promulgated the Tung-Chuan-Qi-10140021970 Announcement to repartition and adjust the cable television service areas and announce the relevant terms and procedures for accepting application for the operation of cable television services.
Since the announcement of the cable television services in 1994, there have been 51 service areas nationwide with 62 cable television operators (including broadcast systems), resulting in monopolies or oligopolies within most of the service areas where the consumers cannot choose the operators and operators cannot operate across service areas, not to mention the issue of slow progress of the overall digitalization efforts. Therefore, the NCC decided that under the regulation of the current Cable Television Law, a new or incumbent operator may decide on the size of its service area based on the county or city as the unit (one county or city is one area) and file application accordingly, thus eliminating the past issues of monopoly or insufficient scale in the 51 service areas.
The service areas of cable television operations are partitioned and adjusted as the following areas: Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taichung City, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Keelung City, Taoyuan City, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Nantou County, Changhua County, Yunlin County, Chiayi City, Chiayi County, Pingtung County, Taitung County, Ilan County, Hualien County, Kinmen County, Penghu County, and Lienchiang County.
If an operator seeks to apply for the operation of cable television service in the above-mentioned counties or cities, digital technologies should be employed to provide services, and the current Cable Television Law as well as the Regulations Governing the Engineering Technologies of Cable Television Systems and other relevant requirements shall be followed. In addition, the application shall be filed in accordance with the Requirements for the Application for the Operation of Cable Television or Amendments to Operating Plans to Expand Service Areas announced by the NCC. The provision of digital technologies mentioned above means that a system should be capable of providing access to digital program signals, including the processing of program signals via digital technologies at the headend and the delivery of the processed digital program signals to the digital terminal equipment of the subscribers (including cable television set-top boxes) via cable transmission networks. To wit, the contents received by the subscribers should be program contents which are digital signals as delivered.
An applicant may file an application with the NCC following the day after the effective date of the above-mentioned announcement. In addition, relevant documents shall be prepared pursuant to the Requirements for the Application for the Operation of Cable Television or Amendments to Operating Plans to Expand Service Areas, and the application along with the operating plan shall be filed. For an existing cable television system operator who seeks to expand its existing service area, relevant documents shall be prepared in accordance with Requirements for the Application for the Operation of Cable Television or Amendments to Operating Plans to Expand Service Areas and application to amend to its operating plan shall be filed. Incumbent cable television system operators and cable television program delivery systems may continue to provide services in their existing service areas pursuant to the existing Cable Television Law and other relevant requirements.