SUBCO Expands Sydney to Perth Cable System Plan to Increase Capacity

Subco expands its upcoming Sydney to Perth submarine cable system to 16 fiber pairs to increase capacity and improve connectivity.By Sasha Karen, ARN
May 16, 2024

Bevan Slattery-founded subsea fibre cable infrastructure provider SUBCO has increased total system capacity for its upcoming SMAP submarine cable system by 33 per cent.

The cable, which connects Sydney, Melbourne (Torquay), Adelaide and Perth (SMAP) together, commenced construction in August last year as a 12 fibre pair system with the potential to deliver over 300 Tbps.

Now, the provider claims the upcoming cable will be a 16 fibre pair system, enabling it to deliver a total of 400Tbps.

According to Slattery, who is also SUBCO's co-CEO, the upgrade would provide for an additional 100Tbps between Melbourne and Perth and 120Tbps between Sydney and Melbourne.

“This increased investment in capacity is to ensure we are able to support Australia's digital infrastructure needs both now and in the future,” he said.

“AI [Artificial intelligence] and cloud are driving the accelerating expansion of hyperscale data centres throughout the region, which is driving an increase in demand for hyperscale connectivity.”

The cable will also use armouring and space division multiplexing (SDM) technology to deliver secure low latency.

A blog on SMAP’s progress on SUBCO’s website claims the overall build progress is at 24 per cent after 272 days. The blog’s most recent update, dated 14 May, states the provider has deployed an underwater camera in Adelaide to check the proposed cable alignment corridor in order to plan the shallow water cable placement. This is to minimise interactions with localised seagrass as much as possible.

SUBCO added that the SMAP cable is on track for provisional acceptance in December next year.

The provider’s work on SMAP comes more than a year after its Oman Australia cable, which connects the West Asian country to Perth, was switched on in October 2022.

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