Vocus has completed its $100m submarine fibre cable that will position Darwin as a key digital hub for the Asia Pacific region.
The new 1,000km cable links Vocus’ existing Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) which runs from Perth to Singapore with the existing North-West Cable System which runs from Darwin to Port Hedland.
According to Vocus, the crew aboard the Ile de Re cable ship lifted the Australia Singapore Cable from a depth of 5km up to the ocean's surface, splicing it to the new cable segment on deck before lowering the connected cables back to the ocean floor.
Supported by a $7.9 million contribution from Northern Territory Government’s Terabit Territory strategy, the cable forms part of the new Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) system, stretching 7,700 kilometres between Darwin and Singapore.
According to Vocus, the cable opens up low-latency connectivity into Asia for Australia’s North, particularly resource operators in the Pilbara. The new international link is now undergoing final testing and is scheduled to be ready for service mid-year.
The DJSC is a key part of Vocus’ $1 billion, five-year strategy, which also includes Vocus’ Project Horizon, a new 2,000km fibre route from Geraldton to Port Hedland, beginning construction soon.
This will connect with the DJSC, establishing a redundant fibre path between Perth and Singapore through the Pilbara, which Vocus claims will bring competition in fibre services to the region for the first time.
“This final component of the DJSC system will help transform Darwin’s economy and establish it as a new high-tech centre in Southeast Asia,” Ellie Sweeney, Vocus CEO said.
“The system unlocks Darwin as a major new data hub for the Asia Pacific and establishes both Darwin and Port Hedland as new entry points for international data into Australia, providing greater resilience and redundancy to ensure international internet connectivity.”
Data centre operator NextDC has announced plans to construct a hyperscale data centre in Darwin connected by the cable.