Vocus has proudly celebrated a milestone: 20 years of providing sovereign, secure communications services through its fully owned subsidiary Nextgen Networks, for the Australian government and its agencies.
Our valued partners in the Department of Defence, defence industry and government agencies came together this month to mark the occasion at a dinner hosted by Vocus CEO Kevin Russell at the Australian War Memorial.
We were also joined by General The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) as our distinguished guest and keynote speaker for the evening, who observed that the War Memorial was "a marvellous combination of a shrine, a museum and a place of reflection."
The event kicked off with Vocus Chair Penny Bingham-Hall reminiscing on Vocus’ sovereign history and reflected her show of thanks to the continued support.
Nextgen and its fibre assets are a core Australian capability, and the core of Vocus today. Penny Bingham-Hall spoke about how Vocus was formed 21 years ago as a joint venture between Leightons and Macquarie Bank to build a new fibre backbone between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth – the largest fibre network in Australia after Telstra’s.
Since then, we have constructed the North-West Cable System, the Australia Singapore Cable, and supported key Australian Government projects such as the Regional Backbone Blackspot Program, and the Coral-Sea Cable System.
In 2021, 20 years after Macquarie Bank and Leightons commenced that initial network rollout, Macquarie Group teamed up with Aware Super to acquire Vocus, keeping Vocus in Australian hands as a critical infrastructure asset.
“We’re here today to thank you for your support of Vocus today and into the future,” Penny Bingham Hall said.
Vocus’ sovereign fibre network today spans more than 25,000kms, connecting Australia’s mainland capitals and most regional centres with South-East Asia and the world.
Vocus is currently investing in major infrastructure projects to add redundancy and resilience for customers, including completing the national figure-8 network loop.
The company is also investing almost $1 billion into expanding and growing the capabilities of its network, including integrating new technologies like low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and private LTE (4G/5G) networks into the product suite.
Vocus will deliver two of the largest telecommunications infrastructure deployments in Australia: a new 2,000 km fibre backbone through the Pilbara region in Western Australia, and a new 1,000 km fibre cable that will complete a $500 million submarine cable system between Darwin and Singapore – the first international connection into Australia’s north.
“We will achieve all of this while meeting our commitment to have net zero emissions from our operations in 2025, which is also aimed at helping our partners and customers enable better possibilities and achieve their own emission-reduction strategies,” Vocus Chair Penny Bingham-Hall said.
Sir Peter gave an insightful speech on the future of the Indo-Pacific region, noting that it is no longer as stable, peaceful and benign as it once was.
In such climate, defence communications simply can’t fail. As an infrastructure supplier to the Department of Defence and major prime systems integrators, Vocus helps ensure that critical missions succeed so Australians remain safe.
Vocus’ secure fibre network has an exceptional record of providing the capacity, performance and resilience to meet the most stringent mission requirements.
“We will never put our boys and girls in uniform in harms’ way with dud equipment, outmoded and overwhelmed technologies. If they’re going to go and help defend us, they must have the best,” Sir Peter said.
Vocus’ relationship with Department of Defence has formed the foundation of Vocus providing sovereign and industry-leading secure services to the Australian Government for the last 20 years.
This includes the Departments of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and The Arts, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Tax Office, Australian Communication and Media Authority, and many others.
We are living in an era when telecommunications networks are rightly viewed as critical infrastructure. Critical, because virtually every aspect of our economy – and our society – is fundamentally dependent on telecommunications to operate.
Vocus CEO, Kevin Russell in his closing remarks said, “A lot has changed in the past 20 years, but our commitment to our customers has not.”
“We pride ourselves on providing critical connections and enabling better possibilities for our customers. It’s been our purpose for the past 20 years, and with your support, it’ll be what keeps us going for many more years to come.”
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