Vocus Group will, in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, construct a new fibre optic cable link between Darwin and the Tiwi Islands in Australia.
For the first time, communities located on Melville and Bathurst Islands will have access to a reliable, high capacity and trusted fibre optic link to the mainland, the company said.
Vocus Group CEO, Kevin Russell, said: “Construction of the Tiwi Islands cable builds on our substantial network infrastructure investment activities in the Northern Territory.
“The new fibre optic link provides a historic opportunity to replace the existing sub-optimal microwave link to the mainland, removing capacity constraints and improving telecommunication services to the Tiwi Islands. Poor weather causes significant interruptions to microwave telecommunication links and the tropical conditions in the Tiwi Islands frequently mean that essential services that rely on connectivity cannot be delivered.
“Affordable and reliable fibre optic connectivity is a fundamental pre-requisite for the participation in the global digital economy. Vocus is pleased to play its role in delivering this capability to the communities of the Tiwi Islands.”
Under a Capital Grant arrangement with the Northern Territory Government, Vocus will build, own and operate the subsea system, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.
The connection will be established though a Branching Unit already provisioned in the Vocus subsea North West Cable System (NWCS) asset.
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and Fugro have been selected as the specialist vendors to undertake the marine campaign. A comprehensive program of survey, manufacture and deployment activities is estimated to take nine months to complete after the finalization of technical specifications.