Indigo consortium's subsea cables 'about to go live'

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Indigo consortium's subsea cables 'about to go live'
Image credit: SubPartners

New routes add capacity between Sydney, Perth and Singapore.

The Indigo consortium’s subsea cables connecting Singapore-Perth and Perth-Sydney are “about to go live”, entrepreneur Bevan Slattery says, adding a new route option for Australian internet traffic.

“Eight years and 9300km later, Indigo Central (Sydney to Perth and Australia's first transcontinental fibre optic submarine cable) and [Indigo] West (Perth to Singapore via Jakarta) submarine cable is about to go live,” Slattery said in a LinkedIn post late Friday.

“Massive thanks to the team ... and our consortium partners AARNet (Australia's Academic and Research Network), Google, Telstra, Singtel and Indosat Ooredoo.

“Sometimes the good ideas just take longer. And thanks to Nokia Alcatel Submarine Networks for being a great partner throughout”.

The ambitious project was originally to have been built by SubPartners, which Slattery co-founded and still leads.

However, in April 2017, the project was renamed Indigo and a consortium of heavy-hitters came on board to fund its construction - and own a portion of the spectrum on the cable in return.

Indigo had been expected to be completed and ready for service sometime between Q1 2019 and “mid-2019”.

Indigo is the second new subsea cable to traverse the Perth-Singapore route after Vocus’ Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC) was built and started carrying live traffic in September last year.

ASC and Indigo were at one time part of a three-horse race hoping to be first to build a new Perth-Singapore cable.

The route has traditionally been served by the ageing Sea-Me-We3 cable, which has been repeatedly severed over the years, disrupting internet traffic to and from SE Asia and beyond.

One of the main differences between the Indigo and ASC projects is that Indigo carts traffic to and from its Perth-Singapore via another subsea route connecting Sydney and Perth, whereas ASC uses terrestrial fibre for that purpose.

A third operator, Trident Subsea Cable, had also been hoping to get a Perth-Singapore cable project off the ground.

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