NCC invites applications to provide direct submarine cables across Taiwan Strait

After lengthy discussions and intensive legal work, on December 10 2010 the National Communications Commission (NCC) finally announced that international submarine cable operators may apply for licences to deploy direct submarine cables across the strait between Taiwan and China. The NCC published an official announcement regarding the eligibility of the applicants and the terms of business based on the latest policy mapped out by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the newly amended Regulations Governing Fixed Network Telecommunication Businesses.

In the announcement the NCC stipulated that applicants which are new to the business must offer either integrated network services, international network services or international submarine circuit leasing services. Similarly, applicants which are already
in the business must be those have received licenses from the NCC in any of the following business categories: integrated network services, international network services and international submarine circuit leasing services.

The NCC also raised certain matters regarding applications to deploy cross-strait submarine cables. Parties which apply to supply international submarine circuit leasing services, international network services and integrated network services should submit the application form, business plan and other related documents to the NCC in order to apply for the relevant construction permit pursuant to Article 7 of the regulations.

Applicants which are existing operators and are willing to add to or alter their means of connection by switching to using direct submarine cables between Taiwan and China should apply for a construction permit by submitting a detailed network construction
plan pursuant to Article 32-1 of the regulations. In the meantime, applicants should provide the NCC with a certificate of complete negotiation with those operators which provide them with communication surveillance facilities pursuant to Article 70 of the
regulations and Article 26 of the Administrative Rules of Communication Security and Surveillance Act.

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