The cable that will deliver Queensland’s first direct international data and telecommunications connection to global markets was pulled onto Maroochydore Beach early this week.
And here’s what all the excitement was about.
It might not look like much, but the cable will have the capacity to move data at up to 18 terabits a second – or 18,000,000 Mbps. The section you’re seeing is a sample of the “thick” end – in deeper water it’s only around the diameter of a garden hose.
Sunshine Coast Council says it will be the second fastest telecommunications connection to the USA and the fastest to Asia as the area is 1,000km closer to Asia than other cables on the east coast.
How much faster? Well, really not much – about 5 milliseconds, but in some applications that can be a significant edge.
In the background of the image above, you can see the 140-metre long Ile De Brehat, which has now completed the task of laying the 550 kilometre undersea fibre optic cable that will connect to the 9,600 kilometre Japan-Guam-Australia-South (JGA-S) submarine cable.
The cable landing station associated with the project has already been built in Maroochydore’s City Centre, and the underground cable between the beach landing and the landing station has been laid.
“Today’s arrival of the cable laying vessel can reassure our community that the delivery of the international submarine cable connection is on track to be operational in mid-2020,” said Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson. “We will have an extraordinary capacity to accommodate fast, reliable transfer of data across the world.”
Cable A Cash Cow
It’s been estimated the project will stimulate new investment of up to $927 million into Queensland and create and support up to 864 new jobs in the Sunshine Coast region.
“Once again, our council is at the forefront of thinking outside the square, securing new revenue sources and pursuing opportunities to generate economic and employment growth as a major dividend for our residents, ensuring we continue to be Australia’s healthy, smart, creative region,” said Mayor Jamieson.
Our connected world has a huge dependence on these cables, which carry as much as 99% of all telecommunications traffic. With all other cables on the east coast landing in Sydney – which was cause for concern – the Sunshine Coast project can also act as a backup.
This project is quite an achievement for the Sunshine Coast Council, who started to really push for it back in 2017.