Darwin switches on first international fibre optic cable

The NT government  has officially launched the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable (DJSC ) linking Australia to Indonesia and Singapore.

The 7,700km DJCS cable system is now complete following the deployment of a final 1000km cable linking the North-West Cable System from Port Hedland to Darwin, to the Perth-based Australia-Singapore Cable, resulting in the first international submarine cable connection into Darwin.

Michelle Rowland speaking at the switch-on of the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable 22 July 2023 (image supplied by Vocus)

The Territory government has invested $7.9 million in the project, being delivered by Australia’s fourth largest teleco Vocus, as part of its Terabit Territory strategy.

The strategy aims for the development of a highly secure, high speed network in the NT, including a series of undersea international telecommunications cables.

Digital hub

The NT government says the operation of the DJCS is a significant milestone towards establishing Darwin a major digital hub for the region.

The cable will also enhance the resilience and security of Australia’s international cable network and ensure connectivity during natural disaster and faults on other cables, it says.

“This will benefit a wide range of stakeholders from remote Indigenous communities through to resource operators in the Pilbara by providing low-latency connectivity directly into Asia and enable locals to connect on a global scale,” NT Chief minister Natasha Fyles said in a statement.

Communications minister Michelle Rowland said the cable would boost Australia’s connectivity with the world.

“The new Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system is fantastic news for Northern Australia. This project will help narrow the digital divide and support more reliable communications into the future,” she said.

The NT government has announced a number of other international digital connections including  the Asia Connect Cable-1 inking Indonesia, Timor Leste, Guam, Japan and the USA, operational by 2024; the 25,000 Hawaiki Nui subsea cable systemn connecting Darwin to Singapore, Jakarta, eastern Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Los Angeles, ready for service in 2025; and the Project Koete Cable, and 8 000km subsea cable connecting Darwin with Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and USA, and domestically with 6 locations in WA including Perth, ready for service 2025.

The connections will provide the best available latency to Singapore from any other Australian capital city, offering speeds 2.4 times faster than from Sydney and 1.2 times faster than from Perth, the government says.

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