NCC approves submarine cable link between Taiwan and China

On September 21 2011 the National Communications Commission (NCC) approved Chunghwa Telecom’s application for the Kinmen-Xiamen Submarine Cable Deployment Project. The cable is designed to have a bandwidth capacity transmission speed of 9.6 terabytes per second, which will be further increased according to telecommunications needs. According to Chunghwa Telecom, the project is scheduled for completion by March 2012 and the total construction cost is estimated at around $14 million.

The cable, which will connect Xiamen in China to Kinmen, a small, neighbouring island which is under the control of the Taiwanese government, will be the first direct submarine cable link between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. The cable will consist of two sections – an 11-kilometre (km) work route and an 8.5km protective route. Each section of submarine cable will contain 12 fibre-optic pairs of 80 wavelengths, and each wavelength will have a bandwidth capacity transmission speed of 10 gigabytes a second. Chunghwa Telecom will pay half of the construction costs, with China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom paying the remainder. The equipment will be supplied by Alcatel-Lucent to avoid national security concerns in Taiwan.

Once completed, the cable will connect Chunghwa Telecom’s existing domestic submarine cable system between Taiwan and Kinmen, and serve as a telecommunications link between Taiwan and China. The NCC defines the new cable as one of many international submarine cable systems. International submarine cables in the Asia-Pacific region which connect China and Taiwan indirectly include APCN, APCN2, SMW3 and CUCN.
FarEasTone, a competitor of Chunghwa Telecom, will apply to the NCC to deploy a direct submarine cable link between Fujien Province in China and Tamshui in Taiwan through the same regulatory approval procedure. According to FarEasTone, in the past
much of the bandwidth introduced by global telecommunications operators into China was provided via land cables from Hong Kong. FarEasTone is hoping that as a result of the submarine cable deployed between Tamshui and Fujian global  elecommunications operators will be attracted to link with China through Taiwan, thus elevating Taiwan’s status as a telecommunications service provider in Asia.

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