Australia linked to Japan and the US via new submarine cable system

Australia linked to Japan and the US via new submarine cable system

Hooks up Sydney’s CBD and the Sunshine Coast to the whole JGA cable

Credit: NEC

Australia has been linked up to the Japan-Guam-Australia North Cable System (JGA North) with a 24 Terabits per second (Tbps) connection.

The JGA North cable, which is the result of a collaboration between RTI Connectivity and NEC Corporation, is approximately 2,700 kilometres long and will start out with a capacity of 24 Tbps, with plans to expand it to 30 Tbps in the coming year.

The link-up to JGA North follows the Japan-Guam-Australia South (JGA South) connection, which has been operational since March 2020. 

The combination of these cables extends the network's reach to Sydney’s CBD and Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Both cables meet up at the Gateway Network Connections (GNC) data centre in Piti, Guam, owned by RTI as well as telecommunications company GTA.

At the Japanese end, the cable network reaches Minami-Boso.

Russ Matulich, RTI’s CEO, said that the on-time and under-budget completion of JGA North was “remarkable”, as the project faced multiple challenges along the way.

“The subsea cable experts on the ground and at sea overcame obstacle-after-obstacle by closely collaborating – an art that has become a standard practice over many years,” he said.

“This exceptional outcome – against all odds – confirms what the industry already knows: money doesn’t get cables built, relationships do. RTI is extremely grateful to our many friends that rose up to the challenge, especially the engineering teams, marine experts, and other subject matter experts who are often overlooked.”

Atsushi Kuwahara, general manager of NEC’s Submarine Network Division added that he was proud to have completed the project in a rapid timeframe.

“The construction of every submarine cable system presents a unique set of challenges, and the building of JGA was not immune to this. But by closely cooperating with RTI, we overcame tremendous obstacles and successfully completed JGA North on-time,” he said.

In late November 2018, Vertiv won a $6.6 million contract to build a landing station to connect the Sunshine Coast to the to JGAS and in August 2019, Auscom was given a $1 million contract to deliver the land side fibre network.

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