Australian telco Vocus has turned on the Darwin segment of its Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) subsea cable.

Vocus DJSC.png
– Vocus

The DJSC system runs for 7,000km, connecting Australia and Singapore. It is made up of the new segment, which links with Vocus’ existing North-West Cable System between Darwin and Port Headland, as well as the Vocus Australia Singapore Cable.

The DJSC will have a maximum capacity of 40Tbps, have 14 repeaters, use dense wavelength division multiplexing, and have a submarine optical switch.

The Australian telco began laying the AU$100 million (US$67.9m) segment, which accounts for 1,000 km of fiber optic cable, in March 2023. AU$7.9 million ($5.35m) of the funding for the cable was provided by the Northern Territory government’s Terabit Territory program.

Darwin and Port Hedland are the fourth and fifth Australia landing points for the cable after Sydney, Perth, and Maroochydore.

The DJSC is part of Vocus’ AU$1 billion “Project Horizon” which will also include a 200km terrestrial fiber cable connecting Perth and Port Hedland

Ellie Sweeney, CEO of Vocus, said: “Submarine cables are the superhighways of the global internet, carrying 97 percent of global internet traffic between major data centers. The DJSC system will deliver this high-capacity connectivity straight into the heart of Darwin, establishing Australia’s North as a new data hub for the Asia Pacific region.”

The commonwealth minister for communications, Michelle Rowland, added: “Diversification of our international cable landing points is strategically important for Australia's telecommunications resilience. Removing our reliance on a single cable landing point minimizes vulnerabilities and increases our ability to remain connected.”

With the cable now live, NextDC is planning a data center in Darwin to connect to the cable.

“We are now progressing the development of NextDC's first facility in Darwin to set the benchmark for data centers in the region, providing 100 percent uptime in addition to fast, secure, and flexible access to Australia’s most cloud-connected ecosystem. In partnership with Vocus and the Northern Territory Government, NextDC is committed to driving the economic development of key government and industry sectors in the region,” said NextDC CEO and managing director Craig Scroggie.

NextDC first announced plans for its Darwin data center in 2022. Called D1, the site will offer 8MW of capacity across 3,000 sqm (32,300 sq ft) of technical space. Vocus will be the anchor tenant of the data center.