Basslink repairs damaged subsea cable

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Basslink repairs damaged subsea cable

Services expected to be restored before end of month.

Cable operator Basslink has completed the last stage of repairs to its damaged subsea Bass Strait cable and expects to rebury the cable this week ahead of a return to service.

The cable has been out of action for six months after a cut downed services last December.

It spent the first few months of the year trying to locate the site of the fault, which was found about 90km off the Tasmanian coast in March.

Basslink completed its first stage of repairs to the damaged cable last month, when it laid 1355 metres of new fibre on the seabed.

It today said it had completed the third and final cable joint, completing the repair works.

"The Basslink team will shortly commence a range of land-based tests of both the electricity interconnector as well as the fibre optic telecommunications cable, and all associated equipment on either side of Bass Strait," it said.

It is currently changing the crew on its repair vessel ahead of burying the cable back under the seabed over the next week.

It expects the cable - which provides both electricity and telecommunications to Tasmania - will return to service before the end of the month, weather pending.

“There has been well over one hundred people working incredibly hard at sea and on land to rectify the fault,” Basslink CEO Malcolm Eccles said in a statement.

“It has been an extremely challenging six months, and we are grateful to have had such a committed team working with us.”

Bad weather forced Basslink to push back its return to service date twice.

A restored cable will mean TPG, which was forced to ask Telstra for emergency access on the telco's own Bass Strait cable after Basslink's March cut and cap operation shuttered internet services, will be able to return to normal operation.

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