Taiwan is a major manufacturing hub for satellite equipment, which could give the region an important leg up over other countries trying to build satellite internet networks. Companies on the island already produce base stations, circuit boards, solar cells, and other tech for firms like SpaceX, according to local media reports.
An ongoing internet disruption on one of Taiwan’s islands is accelerating the self-governed territory’s plans to launch an independent satellite network like SpaceX’s Starlink, which would help ensure it remains connected in a potential Chinese invasion.
Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang said last week that the territory would prioritize testing its satellite internet capabilities in outlying islands such as Matsu. She first announced in September that Taiwan was aiming to build a satellite system similar to the Starlink network run by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has become instrumental to Ukraine in its war against Russia.
Related: Amateur radio could be another communication alternative in the event of an internet outage in Taiwan, according to The Los Angeles Times, which profiled the island’s ham radio enthusiasts.