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.
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