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Communications Northern Territory Tech

NT and Vocus to construct $100M subsea fibre cable

2 min read
NT and Vocus to construct $100M subsea fibre cable

Darwin is set to become a hub for data centres and high-tech digital jobs after telecommunications company Vocus and the Northern Territory Government jointly announced the construction of a $100 million, lightning-fast subsea fibre cable into Asia. 

Vocus is delivering one of the four largest telecommunications network projects in Northern Australia, cementing its position as the leading fibre infrastructure investor in Australia. 

“We’ve delivered Terabit Territory – a 25-times increase in capacity into Darwin. We’ve delivered a submarine cable from Darwin to the Tiwi Islands. We’re delivering Project Horizon – a new 2,000km fibre connection from Perth to Port Hedland and onto Darwin. And today we’re announcing the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable,” Vocus CEO Kevin Russell said. 

“No other telecoms operator comes close to this level of investment in high-captivity fibre.” 

The Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) is expected to deliver 40 terabits per second of internet capacity between Australia and Asia. The subsea fibre cable is expected to be completed by 2023. 

“The Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable is a massive sign of confidence in the Top End and again shows why we are Australia’s comeback capital,” Chief Minister Michael Gunner said. 

“The exciting part of this is that it will diversify our economy and create long term skilled jobs.” 

Minister for Corporate and Digital Development Paul Kirby revealed that the project will turn Darwin into the fastest growing data market in the world. 

“This will provide a 1000km link between the existing Darwin – Port Headland cable and the Australia – Singapore Cable. Directly linking Darwin into one of the most reliable, fastest connections into Asia,” Minister Kirby said. 

“Driving digital investment in Darwin will future proof our job market.  It means jobs today, but also exciting digital opportunities into the future for our Territory kids.” 

The construction of the subsea fibre cable will open new opportunities for advanced manufacturing, data-centres and cloud-based computing services for Territorians and investors. These new opportunities will then lead to an increase in job offerings relating to digital work. 

Survey work on the projects will commence in September and cable manufacture is due to start in November 2021. Installation of the cables into the seabed will begin in 2022. 

Investment Commissioner Andy Cowan stated that the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of digital connectivity. The installation of the fibre cable from Darwin to Singapore is strategic as its high speed and secure network will open up access to new markets.  

This in turn will accelerate investment into the Territory and open up new opportunities across a number of sectors for growth and jobs. 

Vocus’ $100 million investment will further increase Darwin’s fibre backbone and capacity as it is a strategic location for data centres and further private investments. 

The project follows recent announcements of HyperOne and Project Horizon, which are complimentary super-fast fibre highways that link Darwin to Asia and other parts of Australia. 

The DJSC will be established through a new 1,000km submarine connection between Vocus’ North-West Cable System to the Australia Singapore Cables in the Indian Ocean. This creates a link from Darwin to Singapore, with branches to Christmas Island and Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Today’s announcement follows the completion of the first stage of Terabit Territory, which created over 130 jobs for Territorians. The Northern Territory Government has invested $7.9 million in the project as part of the Local Jobs Fund, adding to Vocus’s additional contribution of $10 million. 

“All digital highways lead into or through Darwin and that will equal jobs of the future and burgeoning digital industry in the Top End,” Minister Gunner said. 

“We are proud to keep working with Vocus to boost our digital capabilities and deliver more opportunities for the Territory.” 



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