TAIPEI—The broadcast-signal disruption of an independent Chinese satellite TV station has caught the attention of lawmakers and the National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan. The disruption began during the celebration of the Chinese communist regime’s 60th year in power, a politically sensitive time for the regime.
The signal of the New Tang Dynasty Television Asia Pacific (NTDTV AP) has been interrupted for 17 days to date. The interruptions block popular programs, such as the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" and the news commentary programs, which focus on issues that the Chinese communist regime wants hidden.
According to NTDTV AP, intermittent signal disruption started at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. Daily interference has occurred during the times of primary news broadcasting from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., with longer interruptions noted on some days.
NTDTV AP’s signal is broadcast through the Chunghwa Telecom’s (CHT) International Program Transmission Service, which is partially owned by the Taiwanese government. The low-frequency transmission of the satellite covers Taiwan and nearly four-fifths of mainland China.
NTDTV AP has issued a formal letter to CHT requesting an explanation and an investigation of the service disruption. CHT’s deputy chief engineer of the North Branch Zhang Yifeng informed the TV station that the disruption originated from unknown satellite signals, and that CHT is currently working to resolve the problem.
According to NCC officials, rental channels usually have a back-up program for restoring normal broadcasting. However, NTDTV AP’s interruption has not been dealt with for more than 10 days. As a regulator of the telecommunications industry and an advocate for consumer protection, NCC plans to write to CHT to ask for an explanation of the extended service problem.
Legislator Lo Shulei said that the incident is alarming for the security of national satellite communications. She called on the Taiwanese government to attach importance to this issue.
“We call upon the NCC and the relevant government departments to quickly find out the cause and solve the interruption and interference problems,” Lo said.
Legislator Tsai Huanglang has suggested that the disturbance may be coming from mainland China. He stated that the Taiwanese government and the CHT should actively resolve the problem to defend NTDTV AP’s freedom of expression and rights for broadcasting.
“NTDTV AP’s programs highlight the Chinese communist regime’s autocratic, authoritarian, and inhumane tactics. It represents the voice of the democratic world, while pointing out the Chinese communist rulers’ pain. It makes them embarrassed,” Tsai said.