Home Business Telecommunications Qld’s Sunshine Coast to get ‘fastest’ cable connection to Asia
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A new international submarine cable contract has been agreed between Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Council and telecoms network operations company RTI-C Connectivity, with claims the cable will deliver Australia’s fastest telecommunications connection to Asia and second fastest to the US.

The project includes a 550-kilometre undersea fibre optic cable which will connect the Sunshine Coast, in the Australian state of Queensland, to the 9600km Japan-Guam-Australia South (JGA-S) submarine cable that is currently being delivered by a consortium involving RTI-C, Google and AARNet.

At Guam, the JGA-S cable will connect to the SEA-US Cable System, a highly efficient TransPacific cable which will forge connections between South-East Asia and the US for more than 1.5 billion people.

The investment of up to $35 million in the undersea cable connection from the Sunshine Coast to the JGA-S cable plus supporting land-based infrastructure is jointly funded by the Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Government, with the project forecast to deliver up to 864 new jobs and stimulate $927 million in new investment in Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Council mayor Mark Jamieson said he believed these figures were conservative, "given our insatiable demand for data" and that data traffic from Australia was increasing by at least 40% annually.

Jamieson said the council was the first local government in Australia to secure an investment in an international submarine cable and “in an increasingly digital world, the value of this investment for the region’s future could not be understated”.

“Without a doubt, this infrastructure investment will result in a significant point of difference for the Sunshine Coast.

“The Sunshine Coast will provide the fastest, most affordable international connection point for Queensland and Australia to Asia, providing a significant step-change in Queensland’s attractiveness as an investment location.

“This project will stimulate investment and jobs growth on the Sunshine Coast thanks to the superior telecommunications connectivity and data infrastructure and could serve to attract some of the world’s biggest data users to our region."

“This game-changer will transform the Sunshine Coast and open up enormous opportunities for Queensland,” Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said.

Dick said the Queensland Government was providing $15 million towards the project from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund following a commitment made at the last election.

“The reality is only a small volume of international telecommunications is delivered via satellite, with 95 to 99 per cent of Australia’s internet needs serviced by a limited number of undersea cables coming into Sydney and Perth – a risk and limitation for Australia’s internet connectivity and commercial data centre capacity,” he said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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