Network connectivity, data centre facilities and cloud services provider, Nextgen Group and Alcatel- Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, have switched on Australia’s first purpose-built, sub-sea, fibre-optic network, servicing the oil and gas industries.
This move comes right after Vocus Communications’ acquisition of Nextgen’s backhaul assets and the North West Cable System (NWCS) and Australia Singapore Cable, in a deal worth about $861 million.
The NWCS creates a link from Darwin 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 business headquarters.
This new telecommunications link, that runs over 2100km and took two years to build, also addresses the growing need for telecommunications services in Australia’s North West growth corridor. It is now integrated into Nextgen’s 17,000km national transmission network and Metronode’s national network of data centres.
Nextgen Group CEO, David Yuile, said the $US139 million cable system not only provides essential support for Australia’s offshore oil and gas projects but also promotes 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,” he said.
Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks president, Philippe Piron, 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.
“We are pleased to have supported the Nextgen Group with ASN’s innovative technology to offer higher bandwidth availability, greater reliability and lower latency which are of critical importance to enhance the efficiency of operations on and off-shore,” he added.