Australia's first express undersea cable to the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region has finally touched down in Perth, with infrastructure developer SUB.CO expecting the Oman Australia Cable (OAC) to go live in the second quarter of 2022.
Today more than 95 per cent of Australia's international connectivity is provided by undersea cables and, while the number of cables have increased to provide additional capacity, they often follow similar routes and are exposed to the same single points of failure.
SUB.CO, founded by serial entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, aims to reduce that vulnerability by diversifying connectivity routes.
"I am so excited, and somewhat relieved, to see OAC making landfall in Perth," Slattery says.
"This moment has been a long time in the making and made all the more challenging with COVID and for me personally represents another important piece of the puzzle to improve Australia's digital resiliency.
"Currently, every submarine cable that connects Europe/Middle East to Asia goes through a single 100 mile stretch of water in the Malacca Strait that is also one of the most earthquake prone, most fished, most active shipping areas in the world. It is the Suez Canal of the Cloud."
He adds every cable out of the west of Australia follows the same path through the Sunda Strait to land in Singapore.
"OAC will change all that," he says.
The Cable Ship Reliance will remain on station while the cable is extended through to the cable landing station and tested before continuing installation.
The next major milestone will see the cable land into the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in Q4 2021, marking the first undersea cable to land in the remote Australian territory in almost 100 years.
"The SUB.CO team have been busy in the background completing construction of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands beach manhole and fronthaul networks with the containerised cable landing station about to be shipped to Island for commissioning in readiness for the arrival of the cable ship," adds SUB.CO CEO Jim Clarke.
The final stage will commence post-Cocos (Keeling) Islands landing and continue installation all the way to Oman with final splice anticipated in Q1 2022 and ready for service in Q2 2022.
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