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Vocus lays cross-harbour fibre: photos

Telecommunications and datacentre company Vocus laid 1.5 kilometres worth of armoured fibre cable across Sydney Harbour today, in an effort to lower latency for communications between the Australian Stock Exchange's liquidity centre and Sydney's financial district.
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1 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

After laying one cable across the iconic Sydney Harbour from Dawes Point to Blues Point last week, Vocus was up early this morning at Dawes Point, at the edge of Sydney's CBD. They ran a second cable across the Harbour, through to Milsons Point in North Sydney, by 2pm.

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2 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

The cable was custom made in Italy by Prysmian Cable Systems and took 4.5 months to manufacture. Vocus now has three cables running across Sydney Harbour, in addition to a cable running across the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, which was laid eight months ago. Each fibre cable contains 312 fibre optic cores.

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3 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Divers were required to deposit the cable into the harbour, which will sit in an area where ships cannot anchor. Vocus CEO James Spenceley said that, thanks to the armoured covering, it would take a super-tanker dropping an anchor on to the cable to damage it.

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4 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Across Australia, Vocus currently has approximately 237km worth of fibre; at present, it utilises less than 5 per cent of the capacity the fibre offers.

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5 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Workers prep the cable to run into a duct in the harbour, at Milsons Point.

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6 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

A diver was on hand to feed the cable through, from the harbour and into Milsons Point.

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7 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

The fibre was pulled out approximately 20 metres from the harbour. There, Vocus spliced it with existing fibre cable on the shore.

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8 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Although a truck had been brought in, to winch the cable through, the last metre of fibre had to be pulled through by hand.

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9 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

A sample of the cable that Vocus has deployed in Sydney Harbour.

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10 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Vocus held a launch party on the Harbour, bringing in customers and media to get a look at the work underway.

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11 of 11 Josh Taylor/ZDNet

(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

After all was said and done, Spenceley said the exercise required the approval of several state government departments, Sydney City Council, North Sydney Council and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. The latter had to be on hand to ensure everything went smoothly. Vocus announced yesterday that it is expecting to report a revenue of between $45 and 47 million in the 2012 financial year.

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