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This is the Ile de Sein — and as you can see — it's a massive ship. It sports a crew of 60, who work in shifts to lay cable twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
The cable that runs between Australian and Hawaii isn't straight; it needs to run around under-sea mountains, past crevasses and follows the rugged terrain of the sea floor. Many months of planning were involved in plotting the best undersea route for the cable. A member of the project commented the undersea cables can reach depths of 5,000 metres or more.
Telstra expects the cable to be active by the fourth quarter this year. Bandwidth on the cable will be available to both Telstra retail and wholesale customers.
This is the view from the front windscreen for the Ile de Sein, giving you an idea of the size of the ship. The Ile de Sein has just completed a 9,120km journey from Hawaii, and the cable will connect the Australian mainland tomorrow.
Telstra said around 65 percent of the Internet content accessed by Australians comes out of the US, and IP traffic has been doubling every two years, a trend that is expected to continue into the future.
Telstra was not willing to comment on the cost of the cable, but Kate McKenzie from Telstra Wholesale, said the company is "very confident of recovering cost".