Months of underwater surveys mapping the topography of the ocean floor are now completed and cable manufacturing work will start next week in France on Australia’s largest domestic subsea network.

Owned and operated by the Nextgen Group, the globally significant subsea optical fibre cable system will deliver state-of-the-art high-speed data communications services to the oil and gas and mining industries in North Western Australia.

Connecting to Port Hedland, the 2000km long cable will deliver speeds of up to 100GB/s to service customer requirements in the region and provide superior connectivity for the LNG fields in Australia’s north-west, including the Browse and Bonaparte basins, providing essential support to offshore oil and gas projects.

Nextgen Networks Managing Director, David Yuile, said the manufacturing process would take about six months and the cable would be installed in the latter part of 2015, with customer deployment enabled by 2016.

“This is a significant milestone for Nextgen and our strategic partners. Our decision to build this major infrastructure project has been confirmed with a number of new customers signed to access the system since the announcement in May.

Since our previous announcement we have increased our planned investment in the project and added a further eight terabytes of capability to the system to support additional customer demand in the basins and the resources sector in Port Hedland,” he said.

An additional benefit of the project will be improved service and diversity to the Northern Territory, building on Nextgen Group’s track record of supporting programs that open competition and assist in community development.

“The cable will also deliver an alternative fibre optic solution to Australia’s north-west including Darwin, enabling infrastructure-based telecommunications competition in the Pilbara and Port Hedland to be opened up for the first time,” Mr Yuile said.

The North West Cable will extend Nextgen’s existing 17,000km national terrestrial network, and seamlessly connect to Metronode’s national network of data centres.

ENDS