Vertiv to build Sunshine Coast submarine cable landing station
Vertiv will design and construct the $6.6 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable landing station, which is expected to be completed in 2020.
Located in Maroochydore, the cable landing station will help deliver Australia’s fastest data and telecommunications connection to Asia and the second fastest to the United States.
Funded from the $35 million total budget for the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable project, it will house the terrestrial connection point for the submarine cable with landside networks and will be designed to accommodate up to four submarine cables.
In September 2018, Sunshine Coast Council announced it would partner with RTI Connectivity (RTI-C) to lay a 550 km undersea fibre-optic cable to connect the Sunshine Coast to the 9600 km Japan-Guam-Australia South (JGA-S) submarine cable, being delivered by a consortium led by RTI-C. At Guam, the JGA-S cable will connect to the SEA-US Cable System, a highly efficient Trans-Pacific cable which will forge connections between Southeast Asia and the United States for more than 1.5 billion people.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick explained that “only a small volume of international telecommunications is delivered via satellite, with 95–99% of Australia’s internet needs serviced by a limited number of undersea cables coming into Sydney and Perth”. He also said that the majority of Queensland’s telecommunications traffic has to be routed through Sydney.
According to the Sunshine Coast Council, the submarine cable landing will mitigate the risks associated with a primarily single point of failure for Australia’s connectivity, increase Queensland’s international competitiveness and stimulate new investment. It is forecast to deliver up to 864 new jobs, which Vertiv plans to source locally, and stimulate $927 million in new investment in Queensland.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said council was the first local government in Australia to secure an investment in an international submarine cable, helping position the Sunshine Coast as a key digital trading location from Australia. He continued by stating that the “commitment with Vertiv helps us to ensure the delivery of the international submarine cable connection is on track to be operational in 2020”.
“Unlike traditional cable landing stations that are normally anonymous non-descript buildings out of view from the general public, our landing station will be designed to reflect the vision for the Maroochydore city centre.”
Jamieson acknowledged the $15 million contribution from the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund in helping make this project a reality.
Vertiv Managing Director Robert Linsdell said the development of this cable landing station is a huge step towards futureproofing the region’s digital future.
“The importance of investing in the right internet infrastructure cannot be overstated, particularly as we enter a new era of IoT and smart cities, where reliable connectivity will be paramount to all aspects of our daily lives,” Linsdell said. “Having a vision for these new technologies is one thing, but council is going further by making this important investment and bringing its vision to reality.”
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