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Vocus wins contract for Tiwi Island subsea cable

Fibre cables.jpeg

Vocus has struck an agreement with the government of the Australian Northern Territory to build a subsea cable linking Darwin with the Tiwi Islands that sit north of the country.

The cable will be a 60km spur branching from the North West Cable System that Vocus launched in September 2016. NWCS is 2,000km fibre system running between landing stations in Port Hedland and Darwin.

Approximately 3,000 people live on the Tiwi Islands, which is made up of the islands of Melville, Bathurst, and nine smaller uninhabited islands. It is governed by the Northern Territory Government

The new spur is part of an A$8.5 million capital grant between Vocus and the Northern Territory Government, with the cable system to be owned and operated by the telco.

The branch will be the first of its kind to connect Melville and Bathurst Islands, which have previously been reliant on microwave and satellite technology for telecoms services.

"Construction of the Tiwi Islands cable builds on our substantial network infrastructure investment activities in the Northern Territory,” Vocus group CEO Kevin Russell said, according to reports from Australia.

"Affordable and reliable fibre optic connectivity is a fundamental pre-requisite for the participation in the global digital economy. Vocus is pleased to play its role in delivering this capability to the communities of the Tiwi Islands."

The cable will be constructed by Alcatel Submarine Networks in partnership with Dutch surveying company Fugro, with the spur expected to be ready for service by the end of 2019.

It is the latest win in the subsea space for Vocus, after it was awarded a contract by the Australian government to build a new submarine system that will connect Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia, with landing points in Port Moresby the capital of Papua New Guinea, Honiara the capital of the Solomon Islands and in Sydney.

It also picked ASN to build and deploy the A$136 million Coral Sea Cable system, which will span 4,000km and is due for completion in late 2019.

Vocus is also working with ASN to build its new Australia-Singapore Cable system, which is due to be RFS within the next few weeks. The 20-month project runs from Perth to Singapore.

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