Consortium aims to land subsea cable spur on Sunshine Coast

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Consortium aims to land subsea cable spur on Sunshine Coast

And connect to a new data centre.

A consortium of Sunshine Coast firms has developed plans to land a subsea fibre optic cable spur and connect it to the build of a proposed Tier-3 data centre.

The consortium is fronted by cloud service aggregator, Cloud DC, and counts at least one other firm, GeoNexus among its ranks.

Cloud DC CEO Steve Robinson told iTnews that the proposal had letters of support from local, state and Australian government and is in the process of raising the equity to fund the plan.

Documents leaked to the Gold Coast Bulletin earlier this week reportedly indicated that the initial investment required could be between $10 million and $15 million. This could not be verified.

The Bulletin reported that Gold Coast Council previously hoped to make use of the same spur, but reported that their plan had fallen through. It runs off a cable between Sydney and Guam.

Robinson said he could not name the operator of the cable for confidentiality reasons.

"We are looking to land a spur of an international fibre optic cable on the Sunshine Coast and have that terminate in a large data centre facility," he said.

"The return on investment on a cable play is a long-term thing, but by incorporating it in a large commercial Tier 3 plus data centre, you bring those better rates of return on investment by combining the two."

Robinson ultimately hoped that if successful, an ICT precinct would develop immediately around the cable landing station and data centre.

"I've lived on the Sunshine Coast for 15 years, and Ive had a vision for a long time of creating a true ICT precinct," he said.

"I've been trying to get something like this for the Sunshine Coast for probably six or seven years now, so it's always been a passion of mine.

"We would hope that this [project] would create the impetus or the foundation of a much larger ICT style campus environment [to] develop ... around it."

One potential risk for the plan to land a subsea cable on the Sunshine Coast is the area is not in a designated submarine cable protection zone.

However, Robinson hoped to lobby the Australian Communications and Media Authority to declare a third zone in support of the project.

"We've had discussions about this with all levels of government and we're reasonably confident that we should be able to get exclusion zones set aside ... to help the project," he said.

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