Queensland’s Sunshine Coast will play host to the second Australian landing station for the under-construction JGA-South undersea fibre optic cable system.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick today announced that a new 550km subsea spur cable would be built to connect Queensland with the 9600km cable being constructed between Guam and Australia.
The Sunshine Coast Council has invested up to $35 million to secure the landing into Queensland, $15 million of which was provided through the Queensland government's $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.
The JGA-South cable is being built by RTI Connectivity, Google and AARNet to improve Australia’s connectivity to Asia and the US.
When completed in late-2019, the 9600km cable is anticipated to deliver more than 36 Tbps, according to AARNet.
The Queensland branch will connect to a new landing station at Maroochydore City Centre, and will be in addition to the planned Sydney landing station.
Dick said the “landmark project” would serve the state’s future internet needs and position the Sunshine Coast to attract new business and investment.
“Having high-capacity data connectivity straight into economic powerhouses in Asia will be a massive stimulus for the Sunshine Coast and broader Queensland economy, creating jobs and encouraging investment well into the future,” he said.
He said the new infrastructure was need to supplement Australia’s “limited number of undersea cables coming into Sydney and Perth”, and would also allow the state to avoid routing traffic through Sydney.
“This is a risk and limitation for Australia’s internet connectivity and commercial datacentre capacity, particularly here in Queensland, where a majority of our telecommunications traffic has to be routed through Sydney,” he said.
“A submarine cable on the Sunshine Coast will not only diversify the landing locations for telecommunications traffic, but will also provide speed, reliability and capacity improvements for the whole of the state, as well as cheaper connections for Queenslanders who will no longer have to pay for international data to travel via Sydney.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the council had spent the last eight years securing the deal and was proud to be the first local government in Australia to secure a cable landing of this size.
“The Sunshine Coast is a rapidly growing region and this project will help drive the continued diversification of our local economy, generate revenue and position our region to attract new business and investment, particularly organisations with big data requirements,” he said.
“Our studies have indicated that this project will create up to 864 new jobs for our local region and could add $927 million to the Queensland economy.”