The Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday said telecoms carriers from Taiwan and China will soon be able to jointly fund the establishment of submarine telecommunications cables, provided that the Chinese carriers can neither invest in nor operate Taiwan’s fixed telecommunications network businesses.
At present, Article 70 of the Regulations Governing Fixed Network Telecommunications Businesses (固定通信業務管理規則) requires that the networks provided by telecoms operators in Taiwan and China be linked to communicate via a third area or international telecommunications network, a rule that applies to the establishment of the international marine cable, satellite, communications exchange and adaptive equipment.
The ministry said in a statement that the cross-strait call volume had steadily increased since the nation allowed indirect telecommunications services between Taiwan and China in 1989.
The number of cross-strait calls now ranks No. 1 among all the international calls from Taiwan, the ministry said.
“In terms of the costs and technology, banning the construction of a marine cable specifically used for direct cross-strait communications was not the best solution to challenges encountered by the telecoms carriers,” it said.
Wang Ting-chun (王廷俊), a specialist at the ministry’s Department of Posts and Telecommunications, said the policy change would not allow Chinese telecoms carriers to invest in Taiwan’s type-I telecoms operators, including Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and Far-Eastone Telecommunications.
The policy change will allow cross-strait telecoms operators to jointly construct submarine cables in Taiwan proper, the outlying islands as well as in China without having to go through a third location, which will help reduce operational costs and lower communications rates.