The Northern Territory Government has announced the construction of a $100 million, lightning-fast subsea fibre cable from Darwin into Asia.

The Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC), will deliver 40 terabits per second of internet capacity between Australia and Asia when it is completed in 2023.

The Northern Territory Government is partnering with telecommunications company Vocus on the subsea cable.

The DJSC will be established via a new 1,000km submarine connection between Vocus’ North-West Cable System which stretches from Darwin to Port Hedland, to the Australia Singapore Cables in the Indian Ocean. 

This creates a link from Darwin to Singapore, with branches to Christmas Island and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, said that all digital highways lead into or through Darwin, which will equal jobs for the future. 

“The Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable is a massive sign of confidence in the Top End and again shows why we are Australia’s comeback capital,” Mr Gunner said. 

“The exciting part of this is that it will diversify our economy and create long term skilled jobs.

“It further cements Darwin as Northern Australia’s most advanced digital economy, and this will open the door to new opportunities for advanced manufacturing, data-centres and cloud-based computing services for Territorians and investors.

“We are proud to keep working with Vocus to boost our digital capabilities and deliver more opportunities for the Territory.”

Vocus CEO, Kevin Russell, said, “Vocus is delivering the four largest telecommunications network projects in Northern Australia, cementing our position as the leading fibre infrastructure investor in Australia today.

“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 delivering Project Horizon – a new 2,000km fibre connection from Perth to Port Hedland and onto Darwin. And today we’re announcing the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable.

“No other telecoms operator comes close to this level of investment in high-captivity fibre.”

Survey work will commence in September 2021, with cable manufacture due to start in November 2021, and installation in 2022.

The project follows recent announcements of HyperOne and Project Horizon, which are complimentary super-fast fibre highways linking Darwin to Asia and other parts of Australia.

Darwin’s fibre capacity and strategic location as a point of digital interconnect between Australia and Asia make it the logical place for data centres and further private investment.

The announcement follows the completion of the first stage of Terabit Territory, a project focused on Darwin taking a leading role in international telecommunications across South East Asia, boosting capacity for Darwin from 400 gigabits to 20 terabits, which has already been achieved, and transforming the Territory’s fibre-optic cable network. 

Vocus says the project created 137 new jobs for Territorians, and construction work for local businesses for civil, electrical, welding, haulage and machining works.

Terabit Territory will position Darwin as a highly-competitive location to maximise economic growth and investment in the digital space, which will have flow on benefits for the economy with more jobs and opportunities for businesses.

The Northern Territory Government has invested $7.9 million into Terabit Territory as part of the Local Jobs Fund, with Vocus contributing an additional $10 million to the project.

Northern Territory Investment Commissioner, Andy Cowan, said, “During COVID-19 a spotlight has been shone on the importance of digital connectivity, this new strategic infrastructure will accelerate investment into the Territory and open up new opportunities across a number of sectors for growth and jobs.”

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