The first subsea telecoms link between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland has been completed, AFP reports citing an unnamed official at Taiwanese multi-service provider Chunghwa Telecom (CHT). It is understood that two fibre-optic cables linking the city of Xiamen in southern China with Kinmen, a small archipelago of islands controlled by Taiwan, will begin operation tomorrow. The CHT official noted that his company had invested approximately TWD100 million (USD3.33 million) in the venture, which had been completed in partnership with three Chinese operators – China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2011 Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) approved the construction of a submarine cable linking Kinmen with the Chinese mainland. The connection, it was claimed, would improve the reliability of services and reduce the cost of cross-channel communications. However, the 2km cable required the permission of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, the National Police Agency of the Ministry of the Interior and the National Security Bureau to allay fears that the cable might pose a potential threat to national security.
More recently, plans for another link between China and Taiwan were approved in March 2012, when the NCC gave the go-ahead for another submarine cable following an application from four Taiwanese operators – CHT, TWM Solution, New Century Infocomm and Taiwan International Gateway Corporation.