New Cable-Leasing Licenses Challenge HiNet's ISP Dominance
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The Taiwanese government's telecommunications agency is set to award new cable-leasing licenses to allow TV companies to share hardware with ISPs.
Kao Kai-sheng, the island's deputy director-general of telecommunications, has confirmed that the move is slated for this December. The deregulation measure is seen as finally leveling the playing field between HiNet, a unit of Chunghwa Telecom, and the more than 180 private ISPs vying for a share of the dial-up market. At present, private ISPs have no option but to lease lines from Chunghwa Telecom.
According to a recent report prepared by Taylor Nelson SOFRES Taiwan, HiNet currently boasts a market share of 59%, while Digital United SeedNet - a spin-off from the state-funded Institute for Information Industry - holds another 11%.
The liberalization steps are also expected to bolster Taiwan's small but rapidly growing e-commerce sector.