Nextgen and Alcatel-Lucent complete Darwin to Port Hedland subsea cable

19 September 2016 |


Nextgen Group and Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), have opened Australia’s first purpose-built, subsea fibre-optic cable network.

Nextgen Group and Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, have officially “switched on” Australia’s first purpose-built, subsea, 2100km fibre-optic network, servicing the oil and gas industries and the growing need for world-class telecommunications services in Australia’s North West growth corridor.

The North West Cable System (NWCS) creates a link from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Port Hedland in Western Australia, connecting the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project offshore facilities and the Shell Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) facility, 200km offshore in the Browse Basin, to their onshore data centres and headquarters.

The high-speed data link is now integrated into Nextgen’s 17,000km national transmission network and Metronode’s national network of data centres, providing immediate benefits to those communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia connected to the cable.

The launch event in Darwin was attended by the Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan, Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and the Northern Territory Minister for Corporate and Information Services, Lauren Moss, MLA.

Nextgen Group CEO, David Yuile, said the US$139m cable system not only provided essential support for Australia’s offshore oil and gas projects but promoted competition with new telecommunication infrastructure for businesses and consumers in regional communities at the cable landing points.

“High-speed connectivity has now emerged as a vital component to operate any business regardless of geographical location – be it 200km offshore – or in remote and regional Australia.

“The completion of the NWCS is a significant milestone for the Nextgen Group and will deliver a digital dividend to Australia’s resources sector and to regional communities in Australia’s North West,” Yuile said.

Philippe Piron, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks said: “The NWCS project also demonstrates how technology advances can accompany the evolution of economic and energy needs while enhancing the communication infrastructure in the region.”

Nextgen has included additional capability in the system that allows for enhanced telecommunications resilience for the Northern Territory. It has also provisioned future connections into other locations such as the Tiwi Islands and established infrastructure-based, high-bandwidth capability in the Pilbara region.