Alcatel and Vocus complete laying $92m Coral Sea cable

Alcatel and Vocus complete laying $92m Coral Sea cable into Sydney

02 September 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

The 4,700km Coral Sea cable from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands has landed in Australia and should be ready for service in December.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) laid the cable using from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Honiara, Solomon Islands using its Île-de-Bréhat ship to Sydney’s Tamarama Beach. Australia’s Vocus Group is a partner in the project.

Now the cable has landed in Sydney, the Île-de-Bréhat (pictured) will return to the Solomon Islands to lay a separate 730km cable linking Honiara to the provincial centres of Auki, Noro and Taro.

Last year the project was valued at A$136.6 million (currently US $92 million). In January XSite Modular, a design-builder of modular cable landing stations, said it is to design and build a modular cable landing station for PNG DataCo in Port Moresby.

Senator Marise Payne, Australia’s foreign minister and minister for women, said the Coral Sea Cable System (CSCS) will provide PNG and the Solomon Islands with “faster, more reliable and affordable internet, delivering transformative capacity to communications, commerce and government service delivery”.

The cable, which is mainly funded by Australia’s aid programme, has four fibre-pairs that will deliver 20Tbps to PNG and a further 20Tbps to the Solomon Islands. Once complete, PNG and Solomon Islands will majority own the cable and receive all revenue generated. Solomon Islands will own its domestic cable and all revenue generated.

The new cable “will significantly augment Papua New Guinea’s existing submarine cable capacity”, said CSCS. The Solomon Islands currently relies solely on satellite for international voice and data communications. Only 11% of the population of PNG and the Solomon Islands have access to the internet.