Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved the construction of the first subsea cable directly linking Taiwan with mainland China.
The NT$1 billion ($33.4 million) cable is now scheduled to become operational in March, Taipei Timesreported.
The project will be a joint initiative of Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Telecom and FarEasTone in Taiwan, and mainland operators China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. Each side will contribute 50% of the cost.
The operators signed a pact to build the cable in January, but restrictions on Chinese investments in Taiwanese telecom had threatened to sideline the project.
An NCC spokesperson told Taipei Times that the regulator had determined that the project would not breach rules barring Chinese investment in tier-1 telecom operations.
He said Taiwanese operators had agreed not to use Chinese manufactured equipment on their end of the cable. This - as well as NCC consultations with authorities - had helped assuage national security concerns that had also been a roadblock.
Despite the new accord, according to China Post, the NCC has no plans to lift the ban on Chinese investment in Taiwan's fixed line sector.