The government is planning to build an Internet cable terminal in Tainan and lay two additional undersea cables to boost telecommunications resiliency, an official familiar with the matter said yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Two subsea Internet cables connecting Lienchiang County to Taiwan proper were severed in separate incidents allegedly involving a Chinese trawler and a cargo ship in early February.
The nation’s submarine cables are unevenly distributed in favor of northern Taiwan, with cable landing points in New Taipei City’s Bali (八里) and Tamsui (淡水) districts, and Yilan County’s Toucheng Township (頭城), while Taiwan’s fourth cable landing point is in Pingtung County’s Fangshan Township (枋山), the source said.
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Power Co
Southern Taiwan entirely depends on the three cables ending in Fangshan, they said.
The National Science Council has ordered the National Center for High-Performance Computing to plan a cloud server center and Internet cable landing point in Tainan, as well as a backup auxiliary node in Taichung, to bolster redundancy and security, they said.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2025, they said, adding that private-sector entities have expressed interest.
Separately, the construction of the Southeast Asia-Japan 2 submarine cable system connecting Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore is expected to be completed by the end of this year, they said.
The system includes landing points in Tamsui and Fangshan, they said, adding that the operators decided to set up two landing points to ensure that a failure of one of them would not disconnect Taiwan from the system.
Moreover, the Apricot subsea cable, which is expected to go online late next year, has been rerouted to bypass the Philippines and Indonesia to enhance its security, they said.
Overall, 14 submarine cables link Taiwan with other countries, and the government is aware that China might try to attack them, they said.
However, several third countries also route Internet traffic through those cables, and Taipei and Beijing are aware that these countries have an interest in them remaining intact, they added.
Repairs on one of the cables connecting Lienchiang County were finished at the end of last month, restoring the outlying county’s regular Internet access, they said.
The National Communications Commission and the Cyber Security Center said Taiwan reported 51 service disruptions of subsea cables between 2018 and last year.
The disruptions include 18 that affected the Toucheng-Fanghsang dual landing points, 22 that affected the Tamsui landing point and 11 that affected the Bali landing point.
These events include 25 cases that were caused by trawler netting or ship anchors, 12 were caused by geological events, three were caused by equipment failure or wear on the cables, six were caused by scheduled maintenance and two were caused by errors made during maintenance.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the