Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy officially announced plans to build a 6,900km undersea cable between Guam and Sydney which will become one of the first links in the government's national fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network chain.
Internet exchange vendor Pipe Networks announced today that it will be constructing the AU$200 million cable system known as the Pipe Pacific cable-1 (PPC-1), a two-pair fibre cable capable of delivering 1.92 terabits of data per second which is expected to become part of the foundations for the government's national FTTN network.
Construction of the cable is expected to be completed in mid to late 2009, and will subsequently link Australia to existing cable systems in Asia, the US and Europe through an exchange in Guam.
Senator Conroy expressed his support for the project at a press conference in Melbourne this morning, saying the cable will be an important piece of infrastructure for Australia's new network.
Bevan Slattery, managing director and CEO of Pipe, said in a statement that the cable is "vital to breaking the stranglehold the gang of four have on capacity into Australia".
Slattery described the bandwidth available in Australia for the past eight years as "overpriced" and announced Perth-based ISP iiNet had signed a 15-year international capacity deal with Pipe for access to the cable.
"This project signals the first entirely new cable delivered to Australia in eight years and will deliver more capacity for bandwidth-starved Australians," said iiNet CEO Michael Malone.
Malone said it is a common misconception that slow Internet speeds in Australia have been caused by the domestic networks themselves, ignoring problems with international links.