 Major milestone in Australia's communications infrastructure with PPC-1 submarine cable switch-on

Faster and cheaper bandwidth in Australia with the Australia’s first independent submarine cable

PIPE International’s submarine cable, PPC-1, which has been built from Sydney to the telecommunications interconnection hub of Guam, was officially switched-on today at a special event at Sydney’s Australian Technology Park.  The successful completion of Australia’s first independent submarine cable was two years in the making and cost $200m.

PIPE International CEO, Bevan Slattery said: “The completion of the PPC-1 submarine cable will be a catalyst for a major positive change in the Australian telecommunications industry, generating increased competition that will filter down to ordinary Australian users. Our ultimate goal of providing Australia with enhanced, competitive global connectivity has now been realised.

“Today’s launch of PPC-1 means that Australia is on the cusp of cheaper bandwidth.  The game is now on and greater competition, increased bandwidth and wider choice will be the end result,” said Mr Slattery.

The impending arrival of PPC-1 had already resulted in lower capacity costs and increased bandwidth in Australia, with Southern Cross reducing its costs by fifty per cent in the last eighteen months. It is also planning to significantly boost its own capacity.

Pipe’s technical staff in Sydney, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Tokyo and San Jose, have spent the last four months establishing points of presence (PoPs) and carrying out extensive testing of the PPC-1 system and the wider network.

“The very first light was beamed through the cable in mid August, which was an incredibly exciting moment for all involved in the project.  We are very pleased with the results of our rigorous testing process and we’ll now be able to provide Australia with much needed enhanced connectivity and bandwidth,” said Bevan Slattery.

In addition to the testing, Pipe has also been preparing for the switch from the project phase to the operation phase for the system, which includes ensuring that the Network Operations Centre (NOC) was set up and its team was fully trained to reliably handle the new system. The NOC team will ensure that the system is monitored 24/7.

The PPC-1 cable is 6900kms long; includes three cable landing stations in Sydney, Guam and Madang in Papua New Guinea; and will provide onward connectivity to Asia and the United States. With a capacity of 1.92 terabits per second over two fibre pairs, the cable will provide diversity to the few existing routes in the region. In addition, there are branching units in the system that will allow for future connectivity to other locations including New Zealand and The Gold Coast.

Pipe’s focus for 2010 and beyond is to provide on-net services to internet service providers (ISPs), corporate and government customers and also to reap the benefits from its existing robust networks.

The progress of the PPC-1 project is tracked by PIPE International’s blog at www.pipeinternational.com.