Taiwan plans for Ukraine-style back-up satellite Internet network amid risk of war

When Russian forces knocked the Ukrainian town of Irpin offline in March, Tesla chief Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite World wide web assistance came to the rescue.

In just two times, the city – whose energy lines and mobile and World wide web networks were being destroyed or destroyed – was again on-line, and people could straight away get in contact with liked kinds, in accordance to experiences.

Now, Taiwan – at any time contending with the possibility of a Chinese invasion – is having a leaf out of that handbook by environment up a identical again-up satellite Web community.

“The working experience of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… showed that the total globe can know what is happening there in authentic time,” said Taiwan’s Electronic Minister Audrey Tang in recent media interviews, conveying designs to construct “digital resilience for all” in Taiwan.

In excess of the subsequent two yrs, the island is established to demo a NT$550 million (S$24.67 million) satellite programme that aims to preserve Taiwan’s command techniques functioning if standard connections get slice, Ms Tang said.

Several Taiwan businesses are now in discussions with international satellite provider providers, she included, without the need of supplying information.

New satellite Net providers this sort of as individuals made available by Starlink rely on a constellation of lower Earth orbit (LEO) satellites orbiting at an altitude of 550km that can beam the Online into even the most remote locations from space.

Currently, international World wide web visitors is primarily carried through fibre-optic cables lining the ocean floor.

Taiwan is related to the earth by way of 15 submarine data cables.

“The Internet utilised in Taiwan depends intensely on undersea cables, so if (attackers) slash off all the cables, they would slice off all of the Net there,” Dr Lennon Chang, a cyber-stability researcher at Monash University, explained to The Straits Occasions.

“It would make perception for the govt to have alternate sorts of conversation ready for unexpected emergency scenarios,” he additional.

Taiwan’s satellite trial programme arrives amid soaring cross-strait tensions, which arrived at new heights in recent weeks in the wake of US Property Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s take a look at to the island in August. China, which views self-governing Taiwan as its very own territory, deemed her vacation an infringement of its own sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Beijing has hardly ever renounced the use of power to deliver Taiwan underneath its handle, and responded to the stop by by launching a series of unprecedented army physical exercises, which includes the firing of ballistic missiles about the island.

Now, some analysts say that worries above Taiwan’s network vulnerabilities are very real.

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