The fibre-optic Basslink cable linking Tasmania to the mainland has officially gone live, with two customers, Aurora and Internode, hooked up to receive transmissions.
Michael Coates (Credit: Basslink)
The cable was technically live last week, Basslink general
manger Michael Coates told ZDNet.com.au this morning, but as
of the last 24 hours it now had Aurora and Internode online. A "good half-dozen" other customers would be hooked up in the
coming weeks, he said.
Yet Internode customers shouldn't start sending large amounts of
data to test the new link, according to a spokesperson for the
internet service provider, as it was still testing it to make sure it worked properly. In
about a week it should be running at around 100 per cent capacity
and customers would then see the benefits, the spokesperson said.
Aurora hadn't responded to requests for comment at the time of
The activation has been the end of a long saga that saw the
cable lying dormant under Bass Strait for years. The cable was
first planned in 2000, piggybacking an electrical cable. In August
2007, Singaporean company CitySpring Infrastructure Trust, bought
Basslink for over $1 billion. It took over a year, however, for an
agreement to be reached with parties involved on terms under which
the cable's use could go ahead.
Digital Tasmania, a group started to get Basslink up and
running, has congratulated the government, Aurora and Basslink for
"The foresight shown almost a decade ago in recognising the
potential to co-locate fibre-optic services with both the Basslink
Power Interconnector and the trunk routes of the natural gas
pipeline has finally paid off," Digital Tasmania spokesperson said
in a statement.
"Add to this the recent NBN announcement and in the space of six
months we have gone straight to the head of the class in broadband
Digital Tasmania was also pushing for a fourth cable as part of the
National Broadband Network, which it believed would cost between
$30 and $40 million.
"The NBN will produce a massive increase in demand for backhaul
— whether this increase can be absorbed by the existing
cables in place remains to be seen," the spokesperson said.