Vocus has switched on its Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) system, marking off a significant milestone in the 23-month-long project.
The cable links Vocus’ North-West Cable system, which runs from Darwin to Port Hedland, with its Australia Singapore Cable system, stretching from Perth to Singapore.
The combination of these cables results in the DJSC system, which is a $500 million investment in total, with a $7.9 million contribution from Northern Territory government’s Terabit Territory strategy and stretches 7,700 kilometres.
By activating the DJSC system, this gives Darwin its first international connectivity, providing Australia with an alternative entry point to the east and west coasts, Vocus claimed.
“Submarine cables are the superhighways of the global internet, carrying 97 per cent of global internet traffic between major data centres. The DJSC system will deliver this high-capacity connectivity straight into the heart of Darwin, establishing Australia’s North as a new data hub for the Asia Pacific region,” said Vocus chief executive officer Ellie Sweeney.
“The DJSC connects to the ‘Terabit Territory’ intercapital fibre backbone from Darwin to Adelaide and Brisbane, which Vocus upgraded with a 25-times capacity increase in 2021.”
Federal Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said the system is expected to help with narrowing the digital divide, support reliable communications and “establish Darwin as a leading connectivity hub in the region”.
“Diversification of our international cable landing points is strategically important for Australia's telecommunications resilience. Removing our reliance on a single cable landing point minimises vulnerabilities and increases our ability to remain connected,” she said.
“The launch of the new cable today is a great example of the local and regional benefits that can be delivered through close collaboration between Commonwealth and territory governments and industry partners like Vocus.”
Vocus’ recent involvement with the DJSC system began in 2021, with it winning the contract for the submarine cable connection in August of that year. Then in March 2023, the cable made its first international connection. A few months later in May, Vocus said it had completed the cable.
Following the DJSC system switch on, Vocus highlighted that it was in partnership with NextDC, along with the NT government, to construct a flagship hyperscale data centre in Darwin connected by the cable, which was previously announced in October 2021.
According to the data centre operator’s managing director, Craig Scroggie, NextDC is “progressing the development” of the facility.
“In partnership with Vocus and the Northern Territory Government, NextDC is committed to driving the economic development of key government and industry sectors in the region,” he added.