Vocus and Telstra have received a funding grant under the Regional Connectivity Program for a project to enhance mobile services on Christmas Island.
This will be done through using Vocus’ Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), which will provide high-capacity backhaul to Telstra, replacing existing satellite backhaul as Telstra expands and upgrades its 2G mobile network to 4GX technology.
The 4,600 kilometre, 60 terabits per second cable provides the sole submarine cable connection between Australia and Christmas Island.
Vocus provided a $2.5 million in-kind contribution to the project in the form of access to services on ASC while Telstra provided a $2.5 million co-contribution, with the remainder funded by the Commonwealth government via the $257 million program.
The $15.7 million in Coalition government funding will be invested across Christmas Island, Douglas Daly, Alyangula, Middle Point, Angurugu, Acacia Hills, Milyakburra Island and Edith River in the Northern Territory for Telstra macro and small cell mobile sites.
“This is a great outcome for residents, businesses and tourists on Christmas Island who will have access to fast and reliable mobile services comparable to the Australian mainland,” Vocus CEO Kevin Russell said.
“Vocus provides secure, high-capacity, low-latency connectivity to a range of business and government customers on Christmas Island via the ASC and we look forward to working with Telstra to continue to use this asset to improve mobile services on the Island.”
The ACS stretches between Perth and Singapore with branches to Christmas Island and Jakarta, Indonesia.
Additionally, Vocus is also currently deploying Project Highclere, a $100 million 1,000 kilometre submarine cable connection between the Australia Singapore Cable and the North West Cable System (NWCS), which stretches from Port Hedland to Darwin.
This connection will be the final piece in establishing the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system, a $500 million ecosystem of cables connecting Darwin, Port Hedland, Perth, Christmas Island, Jakarta and Singapore.