Vocus Group Ltd. (ASX:VOC) says it has contracted with Alcatel Submarine Networks for the construction of the Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) submarine network. As its name implies, the approximately 4,600-km submarine cable system will link Australia and Singapore, as well as Indonesia. It will have a minimum design capacity of 40 Tbps.
Vocus made the announcement shortly after it had acquired its original partner on the project, Nextgen Networks (see "Australia Singapore Cable project takes initial steps"). The company says it also has secured approvals from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and renewed landing rights with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Indonesia. With these milestones achieved, Vocus says that work on the project is ready to begin.
The company expects construction of the ASC undersea cable network to take approximately 19 months, which puts the completion target at August 2018. The submarine system should have an effective life of at least 25 years.
Vocus says that it expects construction costs to run at about US$170 million, offset in part by expected customer pre-payments for indefeasible rights of use (IRU) agreements of approximately US$100 million.
Thanks to the trans-Australia fiber-optic network Vocus gained with the Nextgen Networks deal, Vocus expects that completion of the ASC will give it a combined terrestrial and subsea infrastructure that stretches from the East Coast of Australia through to Singapore via Perth, with direct connectivity into Indonesia.
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