Taiwan has been making great efforts to promote the fulfillment of its National Information Infrastructure (NII), with broadband network technology and its application having rapidly developed in recent years. In relation to the two major forms of broadband network technology, cable modem and ADSL, two multiple system operators—namely, Eastern Multimedia Company and China Network System—provide broadband network via cable modem, and HiNet and Seednet are the major ADSL service providers. Three new fixed networks have offered ADSL services as well since they began their operations. There are 5.25 million households (HHs), or 72.11% of the household population in Taiwan, using the Internet, and 4.74 million households, or 65.05% of the HH population, using broadband (TWNIC, 2006). This chapter analyzes the broadband adoption, the competition among providers of broadband, and relevant policies in Taiwan. The research methods adopted include literature reviews, in-depth interviews, and secondary analysis of previous surveys conducted by TWNIC. Since Taiwan’s broadband penetration is the fifth highest in the world, the discussions of the major factors contributing to broadband deployment in this chapter might provide some experiences from which other countries can learn.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Cable Modem: Modem used to provide high-speed Internet with a cable distribution system.
ISP: Internet service provider.
Unbundling: The separation of all the components offered by the telecommunications operators so that the tariff for each component is transparent.
Taiwan Network Information Center (TWNIC): Oversees domain name registration and IP address allocation in Taiwan. TWNIC collaborates with international network information organizations such as ICANN and APNIC, as well as other national Internet organizations such as JPNIC, CNNIC, and KRNIC.
National Communications Commission (NCC): A converged government agency regulating telecommunications and electronic media. It is also an independent government agency established in February 2006.
Last mile: Also known as local loop. It is the telephone line that runs from the local telephone company to the user’s premise.
Challenge 2008: The government of Taiwan in May 2002 launched the Challenge 2008 National Development Plan, which emphasizes such goals as strengthening international competitiveness, upgrading the people’s quality of life, and promoting sustainable development.
Chunghwa Telecom: The incumbent fixed networks in Taiwan.
Leased Line: Also known as private or dedicated lines. It can be used to transmit voice, data, or video. Companies that rent leased lines pay a monthly fee for the leased lines that are exclusive to the companies that lease them.
National Information and Communications Initiative Committee (NICI): A cabinet-level committee that is responsible for accelerating the development of the IT industry.
M-Taiwan: A key initiative to transform Taiwan into a ‘ubiquitous network society’ in which the public can feel the benefits of ‘e-enablement’.
LAN: Local area network. A group of devices that can communicate with each other within a limited area.
ADSL: Asymmetrical digital subscriber line.