According to Taipei news, the National Communications Commission (NCC)  announced Wednesday that it has approved the Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable project to be jointly invested by Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) and three mailand operators, China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile.

The Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable project was initiated by Chunghwa Telecom and China Telecom in early 2009 and was approved by the Ministry of Industy and Information Technology of the People Republic of China (MIIT) in the same year. Since then, it has been pending for the NCC's approval.

The Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable will be the first undersea cable for direct cross-Taiwan Strait telecommunications. CHT will cover 50 percent of the cost of construction, while the other three mainland companies will be responsible for the other half.

The Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable has a design capacity of 9.6 TBps (TeraBytes per second), but it could be further expanded depending on the actual demand.

The system includes two lines -- Kinmen's Guningtou to Xiamen's Dadeng Island, with 9.7 kilometers in total, and Kinmen's Lake Ci to Xiamen's Guanyin Mountain, with 11 km in total. Each will adopt a non-repeater submarine cable system.

CHT is soly responsible to link up the Kinmen-Xiamen cross-Taiwan Strait submarine cable with its backbone, including Taiwan-Kinmen and Taiwan-Kinmen-Penghu lines.

The installation of the Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable is scheduled to start by the end of year, and will be completed by March, 2012.  But there is still concern whether the Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable project can run ahead as scheduled.

Meanwhile, another cross-Taiwan Strait submarine cable, the Tran-Strait Express 1 (TSE-1, also known as Tanshui-Fuzhou submarine cable), directly connecting Tanshui District in New Taipei City and Fuzhou in Mainland China, is reviewing by the NCC. The NCC is expected to approve it soon. 

If approved by the NCC, the TSE-1 cable will mark the first direct submarine cable between Taiwan island and Mainland China.

The construction of the Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable and the TSE-1 submarine cable will significantly improve the quality of telecommunication services between Taiwan and Mainland China, enhance the network diversity for Taiwan island to avoid serious network disruption caused by frequent natural disasters in the east and south coast of Taiwan island,  such as the Hengchun Earthquake in 2006 and the Typhoon Morakot in 2008 which both caused multiple cable breaks.