Taiwan’s largest telecom provider, Chunghwa Telecom, says the Matsu Islands will not be “orphaned” – indicating that the undersea data cables connecting to the Matsu Islands will be repaired soon.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) confirmed Thursday that two of Chunghwa Telecom’s undersea data cables linking Taiwan and the Matsu Islands were accidentally severed by passing vessels earlier this month. Chunghwa Telecom says the cables were likely damaged by Chinese freighters operating around the islands.
NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung said the No. 2 undersea telecom cable connecting Taiwan proper with Matsu was accidentally cut by a Chinese fishing vessel, with no indication if the incident was intentional.
In response, the telecom says it apologizes for the situation and is already providing 24-hour Wifi service in all of its stores throughout the islands. The provider says since the accidents occurred, it has used a backup microwave system to restore voice, national security, and other state communications. It says that the system will be expanded to nearly double the bandwidth by the middle of next month. An undersea cable ship is also expected to arrive in Taiwan April 20 at the earliest to help repair the damaged cables.
According to the telecom operator, the No. 4 undersea cable is expected to be completed by September 2025. Wong said Chunghwa Telecom expects the internet service on Matsu to be restored to 8.148Gbps bandwidth, the level before the incident, by the end of the year through the backup microwave transmission system.
In the meantime, the telecom company said internet users living in Matsu will get to enjoy free internet and mobile services due to the inconvenience, while short-term visitors to the islands will be charged discounted rates.