Digital infrastructure is one of the main components of the government's Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. Promoting "soft" infrastructure such as online security, digital creative and cultural content, smart cities and communities, smart learning applications and scientific research facilities, the plan is also laying the technological foundations required for the internet of things, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and smart robotics.
Execution of the plan began in 2017 and will run through 2020, with a special budget of NT$43.1 billion (US$1.4 billion) divided into two terms: NT$15.9 billion (US$514.4 million) for the first term (September 2017 to December 2018) and NT$27.2 billion (US$880 million) for the second (2019 to 2020). To speed the pace of implementation, these funds will be combined with private-sector investments of NT$200 billion (US$6.5 billion) in broadband infrastructure and NT$38.1 billion (US$1.2 billion) in research and development of content and services.
Five targeted areas
■ Build cybersecurity infrastructure, provide secure online services: This type of infrastructure aims to strengthen Taiwan's information and cybersecurity environment and protect the nation and its citizens. This will be achieved by enhancing the cybersecurity capabilities of government agencies to keep the nation safe, and boosting broadband speed from 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to 1 gigabit per second.
■ Promote digital inclusion, ensure broadband as a human right: The objective here is to ensure that disadvantaged groups have access to basic broadband and cloud resources. These projects will build broadband infrastructure throughout rural areas and set up digital innovation training centers for the public. As an example, 403 rural public health offices and mobile clinics across Taiwan will see their internet connection speeds raised to 100 Mbps.
■ Develop the digital cultural creativity industry, make high-definition services widely available: The goal of content infrastructure is to turn the digital cultural creativity sector into another trillion-NT-dollar industry. These projects will establish a national cultural memory bank, create copious 4K ultra-high-definition content, and allow the public to enjoy a wide range of new media and multi-screen convergence services.
■ Create open government, provide smart urban and rural services: Service infrastructure is designed to improve the quality of life by making smart services ubiquitous. Central and local authorities will work together to develop smart services for urban and rural areas, build a service-oriented government, and usher Taiwan into the "Society 4.0" digital era.
■ Build a next-generation environment for research and smart learning: The objective here is to create an innovative digital learning environment for citizens to enjoy. The government will promote fiber optic broadband and smart learning technologies on school campuses, create an innovative public education environment, and support cooperation among business, academic and research communities in the development of AI, smart robotics and other advanced fields of technology.