Image: Vocus Chairman Bob Mansfield AO and the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts.
Vocus’ commitment to infrastructure that will secure Australia’s digital future was the focus of a Canberra parliamentary briefing, hosted by company Chairman Bob Mansfield AO.
The Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts and The Hon Sussan Ley, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories also addressed the audience gathered at Parliament House to celebrate the completion of the $US170m Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), which will be fully operational on Friday.
The 4600km cable stretching from Perth to Singapore via Indonesia, will also link Christmas Island, providing high-speed connectivity to regional geographical locations previously unable to cost-effectively and reliably access these services.
Mr Mansfield reiterated that Vocus had deployed more than 23,000km of fibre optic networking across all of Australia’s mainland States and Territories, as well as 11,500km of subsea cables since 2013.
“The North West Cable System from Darwin to Port Hedland services our globally-scaled energy sector and is an international gateway to economic markets to Australia’s north,” Mr Mansfield said.
“The ASC establishes strategic and trade links with South East Asia and is the largest infrastructure project ever delivered by Vocus. We have completed it on time and under budget, exceeding specifications.
“We are immensely proud that we were able to activate the cable earlier than scheduled last week to provide emergency connectivity services when the Sea-Me-We3 submarine cable between Perth and Singapore experienced another outage,” Mr Mansfield said.
He outlined the progress on the Coral Sea Cable system, which is being constructed on behalf of the governments of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and referenced the work that Vocus was doing with the Northern Territory government to build a new submarine fibre optic cable to the Tiwi Islands.
“These multi-million infrastructure projects represent our commitment to meeting customer demand and recognises the growing requirements for affordable and trusted connectivity with our closest Asian trading partners,” Mr Mansfield said.
“With this new infrastructure capability, Australia moves from being an end point on the global telecommunications grid to a viable transit point between the networks of Asia and North America, bringing more opportunities for trade and making us more competitive as a nation.”
Minister for Communications and the Arts the Hon Mitch Fifield congratulated Vocus on the delivery of “a sophisticated and incredibly complex project”.
“Although many people probably don’t know it, almost all of the internet traffic from Australia to the world goes by subsea cables.
“The ASC has tremendous capacity and its successful completion has put competitive pressure on international transit prices which is good for business, the markets and Australia,” he said.
Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Sussan Ley, said that she was delighted the ASC would better connect Christmas Island to the rest of the world.
“As former Minister for Health, I am very aware of the potential benefits for regional and remote communities through innovations in tele-health services, particularly video-conferencing.
“The ASC promises to considerably strengthen the service options available to regional communities. This is such an important step for the local, hard- working Christmas Island businesses, including all the tourism operators,” she said.