Monday, 30 September 2019 10:30

Final splice of Coral Sea Cable System completed

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Protection is added to the final splice joint of the cable. Protection is added to the final splice joint of the cable. Courtesy Vocus

The Vocus Group has completed the final splice of the 4700km Coral Sea Cable System which provides a fibre optic link between Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

A statement from the company said the final splice was carried out on Friday aboard the cable-laying vessel Ile de Brehat, at a point about 180km offshore Sydney.

The connected cable was then laid on the sea floor at a depth of 4865 metres.

prepare final splice

The final fibre splice is completed. Courtesy Vocus

The fibre-optic system will deliver a minimum of 20Tbps capacity to both the Solomons and PNG. The system will have a total capacity of 40Tbps.

Forty-two repeaters have been placed along the length of the cable between Honiara and Sydney, all named after prominent Solomon Islanders.

Vocus chief executive, Enterprise & Government, Andrew Wildblood, said: “The final splice on a subsea cable project is critically important and it’s exciting to have reached another key milestone.

“We’re very proud of the technical work our team continues to deliver for the Australian Government."

slack final slice

Engineers prepare the bight (slack) around the final splice. Courtesy Vocus

The deal to build the cable system was originally awarded to Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Telecommunications.

The Solomon Islands then changed its mind after the intervention of the Australian spy agency, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. Australian taxpayers have paid most of the $200 million cost of the cable, with the Solomons and the PNG making small contributions.

The contract was formally signed on 19 June 2018. The cable system also has a 730km submarine cable system connecting Honiara to .

cable map

Vocus said the Ile de Brehat would now head to Honiara to commence laying the Solomon Islands Domestic Network – a 730km fibre optic cable system linking Honiara with Auki (Malaita Island), Noro (New Georgia Island) and Taro Island.

Both the Coral Sea Cable System and the Solomon Islands Domestic Network are scheduled to be ready for service by the end of the year.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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