Vocus adds Darwin to Asian subsea cable network

Created May 15, 2023
News and Business

Australian fibre and network solutions provider Vocus, has completed the first international fibre-optic cable connection into Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory. The company says the new AU$100 million submarine fibre cable will position Darwin as a key digital hub for the Asia Pacific region, and will be connected to a new data centre to be built in the city. Supported by AU$7.9 million contribution from Northern Territory Government’s Terabit Territory strategy,

The new 1,000 kilometre 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. Combined, they form the new Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) system, stretching 7,700 kilometres between Darwin and Singapore, opening up low-latency connectivity into Asia for Australia’s North, particularly resources 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’ AU$1 billion, five-year strategy, which also includes Vocus’ Project Horizon, a new 2,000 kilometre fibre route from Geraldton to Port Hedland, commencing construction soon. This will connect with the DJSC, establishing a redundant fibre path between Perth and Singapore through the Pilbara, and bring competition in fibre services to the region for the first time.

This final segment – a four fibre-pair cable delivering 40 Terabits of capacity – marks the completion of deployment works for the AU$500 million DJSC system. The new cable segment has been rolling off the cable vessel since late February, and the deep-sea connection was completed on Friday by Alcatel Submarine Networks for Vocus. The crew aboard the Ile de Re cable ship successfully lifted the Australia Singapore Cable from a depth of 5 kilometres 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.

Ellie Sweeney, chief executive officer at Vocus, said, “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. It will connect to our ‘Terabit Territory’ fibre backbone from Darwin to Adelaide and Brisbane, which Vocus upgraded to deliver a 25-times capacity increase in 2021.”

“The establishment of subsea fibre-optic cable connections and a data centre in Darwin are the first steps towards capitalising on the significant growth expected in the global data centre market,” said Northern Territory chief minister, Natasha Fyles. “The Northern Territory Government is working to establish the NT as Australia’s digital gateway to Asia to contribute to the growth of the economy by AU$40 billion by 2030. Data centres are critical enabling infrastructure that will not only boost the economy directly, but also indirectly by improving capability and driving productivity gains to support growth in all other areas of the economy.”

(Image: Vocus)

Fort more information, visit www.vocus.com.au


This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.