The first multi-million dollar international data cable based in Northern Australia has been switched on by the country’s specialist fibre and network solutions provider, Vocus, solidifying the state as the new international data entry point for Asia Pacific.
The cable connects with the company’s pre-existing North-West Cable System which runs from Darwin to Port Hedland with their Australian Singapore Cable (ASC) which stretches from Perth to Singapore. Through combining both systems, Vocus has created their newly implemented, and now live Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC).
The $500 million total investment spans across 7,700km between Darwin and Singapore, enabling low-latency connectivity between Australia’s North and Asia.
The DJSC is a key part of Vocus’ $1 billion investment strategy, which also includes ‘Project Horizon’, a 2,000km inland fibre route from Perth to Port Hedland.
Project Horizon is set to connect with the DJSC in Port Hedland when it is completed which will establish a redundant fibre path between Perth and Singapore through the Pilbara region.
Vocus Chief Executive Officer, Ellie Sweeney, said the DJSC will deliver high-capacity connectivity, helping to establish Darwin as a key data hub.
“Submarine cables are the superhighways of the global internet, carrying 97 per cent of global internet traffic between major data centres. The DJSC system will deliver this high-capacity connectivity straight into the heart of Darwin, establishing Australia’s North as a new data hub for the Asia Pacific region,” Ms Ellie said.
“The DJSC connects to the ‘Terabit Territory’ intercapital fibre backbone from Darwin to Adelaide and Brisbane, which Vocus upgraded with a 25-times capacity increase in 2021. Combined, with DJSC and Terabit Territory fibre network allow data from Singapore to flow through Darwin to all mainland capitals on Vocus’ national fibre network.”
Federal Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said the powering up of the international cable marks an important milestone in Australia’s connectivity with the rest of the world.
“The new Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system is fantastic news for Northern Australia. This project will help narrow the digital divide, support more reliable communications into the future, and establish Darwin as a leading connectivity hub in the region,” Ms Rowland said.
“The launch of the new cable today is a great example of the local and regional benefits that can be delivered through close collaboration between Commonwealth and Territory Governments, and industry partners like Vocus.”
As well as the significant amount that Vocus put into the cable, the Northern Territory invested $7.9 million as part of its Terabit Territory strategy to become a major data centre hub.
Northern Territory State Minister for Corporate and Digital Development, Ngaree Ah Kit, said the DJSC will not only put Darwin on the map as a key digital hub, but it will also help to create jobs for the future.
“Launching the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable is very exciting – it will deliver 40 terabits per second of internet capacity between Australia and Asia,” Ms Ah Kit said.
“This cable provides a 1,000km link between the existing Darwin – Port Hedland cable and the Australia Singapore Cable, directly linking Darwin into one of the most reliable, fastest connections into Asia.”
Featured image: Vocus Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable Boat. Image courtesy of Vocus