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Since 2007, NTD's partner in Taiwan, NTD AP, has been broadcasting independent programming to Asia Pacific. Its satellite carrier, Chunghwa Telecom Company is refusing to extend their contract this year. Now NTD AP is appealing to the Taiwan government to intervene.
Tuesday was World Press freedom Day. In Taiwan, NTD Asia Pacific Television—or NTD AP—filed an appeal at Taiwan's regulatory National Communications Commission. They say the island's largest telecommunications company is wrongfully refusing to renew their satellite contract.
Our station's partner in Taiwan, NTD AP is known for broadcasting uncensored news about the Chinese regime. Since 2007, it's been using Chunghwa Telecom Company's ST-1 Satellite to broadcast to Asia Pacific.
[Ruey-lan Chang, CEO of NTD AP]:
"Much news across the strait is only reported by NTD AP. This is our responsibility to society. We hope the government can guard independent media, and protect our press freedom."
In 2009, NTD AP's satellite signal was blocked. It happened when the Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 60-year rule over China. So far the owner of the satellite, Chunghwa, has not explained why the blockage happened.
The company says it won't extend NTD AP's contract when it expires in August. Chunghwa claims its ST-1 Satellite will soon be replaced, and the new ST-2 Satellite will not have enough capacity for the station. However in this 2008 press release, Chunghwa says the ST-2 will have "expanded capacity and coverage."
NTD AP believes Chunghwa has abused its market position, and given the station differential treatment. It says these actions violate Taiwan's telecom laws, and wants the National Communications Commission to investigate.