Vocus Scores AU$137m Subsea Cable Contract With Australian Government

Vocus has been awarded a AU$137 million contract by Australia for a subsea cable connecting Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.By Corinne Reichert, ZDNet
June 19, 2018

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

“Awarding the AU$136.6 million contract to delivery partner Vocus is a major milestone and signals the start of the physical installation of the Coral Sea Cable System,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said.

“Australia will deliver and majority-fund the cables, with financial co-contribution from both PNG and Solomon Islands.”

Vocus said the Coral Sea Cable System, which is expected to be complete by the end of next year, will use multi-terabit technology. It will now commence a “comprehensive program of survey, manufacture, and deployment activities”, the company added.

The telco is also set to build out a domestic submarine cable network in the Solomon Islands to link Auki in Malaita Province, Noro in Western Province, and Taro in Choiseul Province with the Honiara landing point, which will be jointly funded by Australia and the Solomon Islands.

“We are pleased to build on our strong relationship with the federal government and undertake this critical infrastructure project on their behalf,” Vocus CEO Kevin Russell said.

“Our recent experience constructing world-class domestic fibre infrastructure, including the submarine North-West Cable System and Australia Singapore Cable, means Vocus is extremely well placed to partner with the federal government to complete this important project.”

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had in April confirmed the subsea cable would be built, saying that the federal government would provide the “majority” of the funding for the project, which will also land in Port Moresby.

“Today we affirm our commitment to deliver a high-speed undersea telecommunication cable between Australia and Solomon Islands,” Turnbull said at the time.

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