The Chinese Mainland’s telecommunications department is planning to build an undersea optical cable across the Taiwan Strait.
Fan Liqing, spokeswoman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office told a press conference that the Mainland hopes operators on both sides of the Strait will help to accelerate the process of building the undersea optical cable.
China View reported that Fan Liqing said, "Building cross-Strait undersea optical cable is a longtime wish held by telecommunications enterprises of both sides and is helpful in improving communication quality for people of the mainland and Taiwan."
So what is the fuss about? Why are optical cables so desirable?
The answer is simply that they can carry much, much more information than any other method. It is vastly important and if it did not exist then, arguably, neither would the internet.
Since 1990, when optical-amplification systems became commercially available, the telecommunications industry has laid a vast network of intercity and transoceanic fiber communication lines.
By 2002, an intercontinental network of 250,000 km of submarine communications cable with a capacity of 2.56 Tb/s was completed, and although specific network capacities are privileged information, telecommunications investment reports indicate that network capacity has increased dramatically since 2002.
Therefore you can work on the basis that this connection will carry, at a very minimum, 2.56 Tb/s. Tb/s is terabits per second and you need to divide by 8 to get terabytes.
A terabit per second (Tbit/s or Tb/s or Tbps) is a unit of data transfer rate equal to 1,000,000,000,000 bits per second or 125,000,000,000 bytes per second.
Or, put another way, if a million users were on line simutaneously they could each run at 2.56 megabits a second. That is on the standards that prevailed until 2002. The capacity now is much larger and it is possible that this will be increased in the near future through doping the fiber optic for maximum throughput.