The cable run, from Christmas Island to Perth, is about 2400 kilometres. Once the system is completed, it will span 9200 kilometres and will be able to support speeds of up to 36Tbps.
The cable is a joint effort by AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra. The laying of the second section, between Singapore and Indonesia, will begin right away and is expected to be completed by the year-end.
The cable system is meant to connect Singapore, Perth and Sydney, with two additional fibre pairs connecting Singapore and Jakarta through a branching unit. In April 2017, an agreement was announced with Alcatel Submarine Networks to to build the cable system.
“This new data superhighway will complement our existing global links to Asia, US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East and allow Singtel and Optus to meet the growing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications as well as boost network diversity and
"We look forward to Optus landing the INDIGO Central cable in Sydney in a few months’ time which will further reinforce our position as the leading provider of international connectivity and data services in the region.”
AARNet chief executive Chris Hancock said: “This is an exciting time for AARNet. INDIGO is the first in a number of significant investments for research and education in Australia. INDIGO will provide the underpinning critical infrastructure to meet the future growth in collaborative research and transnational education between Australia and our important Asian partners. We are looking forward to the second INDIGO landing in Sydney.”
Drew Kelton, chief executive of Superloop, speaking on behalf of SubPartners, said the completion of INDIGO would reinforce Superloop's strategic direction. “We are starting to see the benefits of our investment in infrastructure and software. The three key principles behind Superloop of fibre, wireless and Asia have never looked more compelling, relevant and timely.”
Paul Abfalter, Telstra’s head of North Asia and Global Wholesale, said: “The development of the INDIGO West cable has leveraged Telstra’s engineering expertise and the scale of our Australian network. The cable will connect to Telstra’s extensive terrestrial network to provide onward connectivity around Australia.
"Once complete, the cable system will strengthen links between Australia and fast-growing Southeast Asian markets by providing the fastest speeds and dramatically improved reliability.
"Our vast subsea network is a key part of our international growth strategy and we will continue to invest in additional capacity to meet the increasing demand for data and maintain our network leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.”