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Vocus to link up subsea cables to create Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable

Construction contracts signed for AU$100 million link to run 1,000km between North-West Cable System and Australia Singapore Cable.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Vocus

Vocus announced on Monday it has signed construction contracts worth AU$100 million that will see a 1,000-kilometre link span the North-West Cable System and Australia Singapore Cable to create the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC).

Once completed by mid-2023, DJSC will be a AU$500 million network linking Perth, Darwin, Port Hedland, Christmas Island, Jakarta, and Singapore.

At Port Hedland, the cable will connect to the Project Horizon cable, running from Perth via Newman, Meekatharra, and Geraldton.

Vocus also announced on Monday it has completed its project to put 200Gbps per wavelength technology into its Adelaide-Darwin-Brisbane fibre network. The company said its routes now have 20Tbps of capacity, for 480Tbps in total, and it was planning to deploy 400Gbps when it became commercially available.

"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 progressing Project Horizon -- a new 2,000km fibre connection from Perth to Port Hedland and onto Darwin. And today we've announced the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable, the first international submarine connection into Darwin," Vocus Group managing director and CEO Kevin Russell said.

"No other telecoms operator comes close to this level of investment in high-capacity fibre infrastructure."

In June, the purchase of Vocus for AU$3.5 billion was completed by the consortium of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and superannuation fund Aware Super.

Vocus further said on Monday it repaired a cut in the Australia Singapore cable -- that was 10km from Perth in 27 metres of water -- in 13 days, which included a couple of days of bad weather.

"On Sunday 1 August 2021, the cable was cut off the coast of Perth after a container ship allegedly dropped its anchor in a cable protection zone. The break impacted services passing into and out of Perth, while services between Christmas Island, Jakarta and Singapore remained operational," it said.

"After obtaining all the required permits and approvals, the CS Reliance began repairs on Thursday 5 August -- just four days after the break occurred. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort as the team worked around the clock to repair the ASC. 

"Scuba divers and a remotely operated vehicle were deployed to identify both ends of the cable break, with the faulty segment (which was several kilometres long) then removed from the water."

Due to CS Reliance being the area, rather than taking months, the repairs could be "conducted in record time".

Update at 15:44pm AEST, 16 August 2021: Additional cable repair information.

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