The cable system was built by Vocus along with Shell and Japanese oil company INPEX and runs for a distance of 2100 kilometres, linking Darwin and Port Hedland.
It is capable of speeds up to 40Gbps and is designed to enable high-speed data connections to other key hydrocarbon prospects along its route.
Vocus said construction of the cable system began in late 2014 and was completed in September last year. It is a two-fibre pair, 12TB combined capacity cable and the only combined telecommunications and resource industry cable in the country.
Alcatel Submarine Networks’ cable ship Lodbrog preparing for the INPEX jointing operation.
Vocus chief executive Geoff Horth said: “Connection of these services isn’t just an important milestone for Vocus, it’s an improvement to the essential telco services in an often-neglected part of Australia and a fast and secure connection to families and teams for the fly-in-fly-out crew on these platforms."
Ichthys Project managing director Louis Bon said: "INPEX is proud of the close industry collaboration that enabled this cutting-edge communications system to be put in place.
"Not only is this initiative strengthening the safe operations of the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project’s offshore facilities, it is also delivering immediate benefits to our teams and the Northern Territory and Western Australia communities connected to the cable."
David Bird, vice-president of Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas platform, said: “Shell is extremely pleased with the partnership with Vocus and INPEX.
"The NWCS will improve the collaboration of our onshore and offshore teams during the commissioning and operation of Prelude, and importantly, will transform the offshore experience for our offshore teams ensuring they are well connected to home and family."
The Marine Remote Operated Vehicle being lowered from Lodbrog when making the INPEX branch joint.
Photos: courtesy Vocus Group