Commission approves direct submarine cables across Taiwan-China straits

On November 23 2010 the National Communications Commission (NCC) announced its amended Regulations Governing Fixed-Network Telecommunications Businesses, which will allow international submarine operators to deploy direct submarine cables across the straits between Taiwan and China.

When the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced its new plan for the direct connection of cross-strait submarine cables on September 13 2010, the NCC immediately carried out the groundwork of revising related provisions of the fixednetwork regulations (for further details please see “Ban on cross-strait submarine cables lifted”). A draft of the revised provisions was published on September 21 2010, following which a public hearing was held on October 19 2010. The relevant legal matters were approved on November 3 2010.

Development of new cables

The idea of deploying cross-strait submarine cables originated in 1992 when Taiwan and China first agreed passenger transportation routes by sea. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has now approved the deployment of the first direct connection via submarine cables, and the construction of two new cables is already underway. One cable will run from Fuchou in China to Tamsui in Taiwan, and the other from Xiamen to Kinmen.

The Fuchou-Tamsui cable is being developed with investment from Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far Eastone Telecom in Taiwan, and China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom with a total investment capital of NT$1 billion. The Xiamen- Kinmen submarine cable is being jointly developed by Chunghwa Telecom and China Telecom with a total investment capital of NT$500 million.

Amendments to fixed-network regulations 

The linking of connecting telecommunications networks between cross-strait operators can be done by:

• a connection using a circuit adaptation via a third area or international telecommunications network (such as international marine cables, international satellites, international communications exchange equipment and adaptive equipment); or
• a connection using other methods as announced by the government.


Applicants or operators which would like to use the announced method should follow international network business regulations.

In addition to the necessary connecting circuits and functions for communication surveillance, operators of telecommunication lines and facilities that use the announced method should take into account physical isolation measures and perform regular security inspections to prevent harm to national security.


International leased circuit operators should follow the same rule if they want to use the announced method.

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