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May 29, 2017

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TV station may sue MOTC over microphones

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A local TV station yesterday said that it does not exclude the possibility of suing the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) over the NT$25 million cost to replace microphone equipment disabled by the launch of the 4G mobile broadband network.

Satellite Television Broadcasting Association (STBA) said that many local TV stations complained that their wireless microphones could not function during interviews due to interference from Taiwan Mobile's newly launched 4G network frequency.

The STBA estimated that if all TV stations have to replace their wireless microphone equipment, the combined loss will reach NT$100 million.

The MOTC should provide permanent frequencies for wireless microphone operators, the STBA said, and there should be compensation for people whose rights are damaged due to the government's administrative flaws.

According to the TV station, it does not exclude the possibility of suing the MOTC, saying that the estimated minimum cost to replace all its wireless microphones is NT$25 million.

Next TV general manager Chen Shou-kuo (陳守國) said that all the wireless microphones of the station have to go through examinations from the National Communications Commission (NCC).

Chen said, however, that based on Article 48 of the Telecommunications Act, the MOTC may adjust frequencies in use or request that enterprises or users upgrade their facilities. Such adjustments or requests shall not be refused, nor shall compensation be demanded.

Chen said that such a regulation is like a regulation used during the period of martial law.

According to the MOTC, mobile operators are prioritized in the distribution of frequency since it concerns more people and microphones are categorized as low-duty equipment. Therefore, whenever interference issues take place, operators with low-duty equipment have to shift away.

NCC officials said that the commission will consider providing a different frequency for TV stations that use wireless microphones.

Even though the NCC might provide another frequency that is free of interference, some TV stations said that the existing microphone equipment cannot be adjusted to use the new frequency that might be provided.

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