Vocus, the leading provider of fibre and network solutions in Australia, has successfully completed the connection of its new AUD 100 million submarine fibre cable, positioning Darwin as a crucial digital hub in the Asia Pacific region. This milestone achievement will contribute to the area's economic development and enhance Australia's connectivity with the rest of the world.
The newly laid 1,000-kilometre cable links Vocus' existing Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), which runs from Perth to Singapore, with the North-West Cable System connecting Darwin to Port Hedland.
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Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) system
This combined infrastructure forms the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) system, covering a vast distance of 7,700 kilometres and enabling low-latency connectivity into Asia, particularly benefiting resource operators in the Pilbara region. The cable is currently undergoing final testing and is expected to be operational by mid-year.
Project Horizon as part of Vocus Five Year Strategy
The completion of the DJSC system is a vital component of Vocus' ambitious AUD 1 billion five-year strategy. Alongside the cable project, Vocus is embarking on Project Horizon, a new 2,000-kilometre fibre route from Geraldton to Port Hedland, which will further expand connectivity options and introduce competition in fibre services to the region.
According to the statement, "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. 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."
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DJSC system Connects with Vocus's Terabit Territory
The DJSC system will connect seamlessly to Vocus' existing 'Terabit Territory' fibre backbone, which stretches from Darwin to Adelaide and Brisbane. This backbone was upgraded in 2021 to deliver a 25-times capacity increase, ensuring efficient and high-speed data transmission.
Alcatel Submarine Networks Completes Deep-Sea Connection
The final segment of the DJSC system is a state-of-the-art four-fibre-pair cable with a remarkable capacity of 40 Terabits. According to the statement, Alcatel Submarine Networks has successfully completed the deep-sea connection for Vocus' cable project. The crew aboard the Ile de Re cable ship accomplished the task by lifting the Australia Singapore Cable from a depth of 5km to the ocean's surface.
They then spliced it to the new cable segment on deck before lowering the connected cables back to the ocean floor. This achievement marks a significant milestone in Vocus' ongoing efforts to enhance connectivity and expand its network infrastructure.
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Northern Territory Government's Investment
The Northern Territory Government has significantly supported this project with a substantial investment of AUD 7.9 million. This contribution is part of the broader Terabit Territory strategy, which aims to position the Northern Territory as a prominent data centre hotspot in Southeast Asia.
NEXTDC Plans Flagship Data Center in Darwin
Building upon the enhanced connectivity provided by the DJSC system, major data centre operator NEXTDC has already announced plans to construct a flagship hyperscale data centre in Darwin. This facility, connected by the submarine fibre cable, will serve as an attractive option for companies seeking proximity to Asia within a geopolitically stable region.
Once operational, the cable will strengthen Australia's connectivity with Asia, bolster economic development in Darwin, and pave the way for a thriving digital future in the Asia Pacific region.