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Vocus scores AU$137m subsea cable contract with Australian government


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(Picture: Vocus)

Vocus has been awarded a AU$137 million contract by the Australian authorities to assemble a telecommunications subsea cable system connecting Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

“Awarding the AU$136.6 million contract to supply associate Vocus is a serious milestone and alerts the beginning of the bodily set up of the Coral Sea Cable System,” Minister for International Affairs Julie Bishop mentioned.

“Australia will ship and majority-fund the cables, with monetary co-contribution from each PNG and Solomon Islands.”

Vocus mentioned the Coral Sea Cable System, which is anticipated to be full by the tip of subsequent yr, will use multi-terabit know-how. It should now start a “complete program of survey, manufacture, and deployment actions”, the corporate added.

The telco can also be set to construct out a home submarine cable community within the Solomon Islands to hyperlink Auki in Malaita Province, Noro in Western Province, and Taro in Choiseul Province with the Honiara touchdown level, which can be collectively funded by Australia and the Solomon Islands.

“We’re happy to construct on our robust relationship with the federal authorities and undertake this important infrastructure venture on their behalf,” Vocus CEO Kevin Russell mentioned.

“Our latest expertise developing world-class home fibre infrastructure, together with the submarine North-West Cable System and Australia Singapore Cable, means Vocus is extraordinarily properly positioned to associate with the federal authorities to finish this vital venture.”

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had in April confirmed the subsea cable can be constructed, saying that the federal authorities would offer the “majority” of the funding for the venture, which can even land in Port Moresby.

“Right this moment we affirm our dedication to ship a high-speed undersea telecommunication cable between Australia and Solomon Islands,” Turnbull mentioned on the time.

“The joint venture can be a primary for Solomon Islands, which is wholly reliant on satellite tv for pc know-how to entry the web.”

The venture will allow Solomon Islands to enhance safety and increase financial development, the prime minister added, however mentioned the elevated connectivity for Pacific Island nations would expose them to extra cybersecurity dangers.

Vocus had entered an agreement with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in January to scope out the design, development, and procurement of the Australia-Papua New Guinea-Solomon Islands subsea cable. The settlement with the federal government was price AU$2.eight million to Vocus, in accordance with tender documents.

Vocus had mentioned the three-month scoping examine would contain consulting with the governments of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, gathering detailed necessities, conducting a desktop survey, tendering the cable system venture, and commencing permits.

Final week, the federal government then used AU$200 million in overseas support — round two thirds of the price to construct the cable — to lock rival vendor Huawei out of supplying the subsea cable.

“What we’ve got provided Solomon Islands and what they’ve accepted is a substitute for the provide from Huawei and ours is cheaper, it is prone to be a quicker outcome for them and technically superior and in addition extra resilient,” Bishop informed media final week.

DFAT has but to determine whether or not the Australian touchdown level ought to be in Sydney, the Sunshine Coast, or Townsville.

“What we’re doing is offering very sensible and substantial help and support, as a part of our overseas support program, to supply that telecommunications infrastructure which can be certain that Solomon Islands has entry to 21st century telecommunications, which is significant … for schooling, for commerce, for financial improvement, in each facet of their society simply as it’s in ours,” Turnbull mentioned.

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