Vocus has revealed it is making a major investment in its national telco network with plans to roll out a 2,000-kilometre high-capacity fibre connection from Perth to Port Hedland in Western Australia.
“I am pleased to say that just last week, Vocus’ Board gave the green light to commence work to close this final gap and complete our national fibre network,” the telco’s COO Ellie Sweeney said in a speech during the CommsDay Summit event on 4 May.
“We call this ‘Project Horizon’. The first stage of this program of work is now underway,” she addded.
Broadly, Project Horizon will establish a network of both new and existing fibre between Port Hedland and Perth via Newman, Meekatharra and Geraldton.
The project will complete the western ring in Vocus’ national network and connect Perth to Darwin via major resources operations hubs both terrestrially and offshore.
The Horizon system will be designed with transmission capacity starting at 38 Terabits per second per fibre pair, giving Vocus a clear upgrade path to support much higher capacity wavelengths at incremental cost as demand requires it.
According to Sweeney, Project Horizon has been part of Vocus’ long-term network extension plans for several years and the high-level design work has already been completed.
Tenders for construction and optical systems will be issued over the coming months, she said. Once the tenders have been concluded and required permits have been secured, construction will begin.
“We are working to have Project Horizon completed by the end of next year,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney claimed that Project Horizon would be the largest single telecommunications infrastructure project seen in Australia’s north west since the completion of the North-West Cable System.