Chunghwa Telecom to invest in fibre-optic networks

Chunghwa Telecom to invest in fibre-optic networks

Chunghwa Telecom has announced it will invest over $3 billion in constructing a new fibre optic network in Taiwan.

The project, expected to span over three years, will give Taiwanese subscribers access to 1G capability in five cities in the country through the construction of two high-speed fibre cables.

The first cable, expected to launch from Q1 2012, will span 50 metres, and provide 1G capability for up to 80% of the population. The company will also build a 100 metre network, addressing over 100 million internet subscribers with the view to provide fibre optic network connectivity by 2015.

Taiwan has thus far been slow in its implementation of a high-speed broadband network, with much of the country’s ICT and telecoms developments centred on the development of mobile networks. In recent years, Chunghwa said it has focussed approximately 15% of its revenue for capital outlay, with over 60% dedicated for the construction of its broadband network. Chang Hsiao-tung, president of Chunghwa, confirmed the company was proposing to invest a further $6 billion in both its fibre-optic network and mobile broadband network over the next 10 years.

In addition to a lack of investment, the country has had to contend with several setbacks to the development of its fibre-optic telecoms cables following the country’s earthquake in 2010. The initial 6.4 magnitude earthquake, which struck in the city of Pingtung, damaged four cables in six different locations and sent Chunghwa workers in a frenzy to restore telecoms services. The island is often subject to typhoons which can cause undersea landslides, meaning cable cuts and disruptions are common.

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