Local company wins contract for Sunshine Coast submarine cable project
  • Wednesday 07 August 2019
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A Sunshine Coast family-based business, Auscom, has been awarded a contract that will provide a key part of the International Broadband Submarine Cable Network.

The $1 million contract will deliver the land side fibre network which will connect the beach landing to the cable landing station at Maud Street, Maroochydore.

Once the network is operational in mid-2020, the Sunshine Coast will provide the fastest international connection point from Queensland and east Australia to Asia – a significant step-change in the Sunshine Coast’s attractiveness as an investment location.

The $35 million Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable project is a jointly funded initiative between Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Government through its Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the announcement marked the next major milestone in the Sunshine Coast international broadband network project.

“It was less than a year ago that council signed contracts with a consortium led by RTI Connectivity to deliver the international broadband submarine cable to the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Council is the only local government in Australia to secure an investment in an international submarine cable and works have begun on the installation phase ensuring that the connection is on track to be operational by mid-2020.

“Our Sunshine Coast is fast becoming a digital leader and the submarine cable network will help position our region as a key digital trading location from Australia.

“We will be stimulating investment and jobs growth on the Sunshine Coast thanks to the superior telecommunications connectivity and data infrastructure we will be able to offer.

“This could serve to attract some of the biggest data users to our region.

“Once again, our council is at the forefront of thinking outside the square, securing new revenue sources and pursuing opportunities to generate economic and employment growth as a major dividend for our residents, thus ensuring we continue to be Australia’s healthy, smart, creative region.”

Divisional Councillor Jason O’Pray said the submarine cable was big news for the region.

“The project will provide direct international communications from the Sunshine Coast – the only non-capital city location in Australia to have such an opportunity,” Cr O’Pray said.

“Over time, the cable will lead to a reduction in international communications costs for business.

“This will encourage investment and employment on the Sunshine Coast and will provide benefits for decades to come.

“In the interim, as always, we appreciate local residents’ patience during these works.”

Auscom Director Chris Douglas has been in the communications industry for 22 years and said this project was one of the most innovative he had been involved with.

“We are excited to work on this project with Sunshine Coast Council, connecting the submarine cable between Maroochydore Beach and the landing station,” Mr Douglas said.

“We believe this network will bring growth and opportunity to businesses not only on the Sunshine Coast, but further afield and we are proud to be involved.”

The public car park on Melrose Parade will be temporarily closed during installation, while the project office and drilling rig are positioned in this location close to the beach.   

This stage of works is expected to be completed by October 2019.

Sunshine Coast is renowned for its innovative region-making projects including:

  • The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm – Australia’s first local government utility scale solar farm which offsets 100% of council’s electricity usage through renewable energy
  • The Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project – which includes delivery of a new longer, wider runway which will enable direct access to new markets in Asia, the Pacific and other locations in Australia which cannot currently be serviced with direct flights to and from the Sunshine Coast
  • Maroochydore City Centre – Australia’s only greenfield smart CBD at this time to be built from below the ground up
  • The Automated Waste Collection System at Maroochydore City Centre – Australia’s first CBD-wide underground automated waste collection system which will transport waste from businesses and apartments through a series of underground pipes to a central collection station.

For more information view the project webpage.

Fast facts:

  • Sunshine Coast Council is facilitating the landing of a new international submarine cable to Maroochydore by mid-2020.
  • The project includes the installation of a 550km undersea fibre optic cable which will connect the Sunshine Coast to the 9700km Japan- Guam-Australia (JGA) submarine cable.
  • The cable, which is laid on or buried under the sea floor, will connect to a cable landing station adjacent to the new Maroochydore City Centre.
  • The project will help stimulate local business, generate new investment, and improve telecommunications diversity to Australia’s east coast.
  • The cable will help to future proof the Sunshine Coast’s telecommunications capacity and increase our region’s smart city capability by ensuring access to important data networks.
  • The Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable Project is forecast to deliver up to 864 new jobs and stimulate $927 million in new investment in Queensland.