Vocus, Australia’s specialist fibre and network solutions provider, has commenced mobilisation to construct Project Horizon – the first competitive fibre backbone between Perth and Port Hedland, and the first major project under Vocus’ $1 billion investment program.
“Vocus is undertaking the largest investment program in our company’s history, and Project Horizon is on schedule to begin deployment before the end of the year,” said Vocus CEO Kevin Russell.
“When complete, Project Horizon will establish a new 2,000km, 38 Terabit-per-second fibre route through Australia’s resources region, closing the final gap in our national fibre backbone connecting all mainland capitals. Horizon will also interconnect with two high-capacity submarine cables in Port Hedland – establishing Australia’s north as a new hub for domestic and international data.”
Vocus has now signed contracts with key suppliers and construction partners, with key materials for the build already on-site in preparation for deployment.
Mirait Technologies Australia, a national telecommunications, ICT and energy infrastructure construction and maintenance provider, has been contracted to provide design and construction services.
STL (Sterlite Technologies Ltd.), one of the industry's leading integrators of digital networks, has been contracted to provide high-strength and standard optical fibre cables.
Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital and continuity solutions, has been contracted to provide Controlled Environment Vaults (CEVs) housing telecommunications hardware along the route.
Channell, a global supplier of world-class fibre optic solutions, will provide rural and urban pits as well as joint enclosures.
CodeCom, an Australian provider of fibre optic and structured cabling solutions, will provide marker posts.
Tapex Industrial, under its excavation safety division, Dig Safe, will provide detectable warning tape.
Vocus is now in the final stages of a tender process to select an optical network equipment supplier, due to be finalised later this month.
The first section of fibre optic cable has now been delivered and is being housed in Perth ready for deployment. Vocus staff recently travelled to India to inspect Sterlite’s manufacturing plants responsible for the production of the fibre optic cable and other hardware. The cables have a design life of more than 30 years, ensuring Project Horizon will continue to deliver high-capacity connectivity through the Pilbara until the 2050s.
Detailed network designs are now complete, and Vocus staff have been conducting final physical surveys of the 2,000km route.
Project Horizon will interconnect in Port Hedland with Vocus’ second major infrastructure deployment, Project Highclere – a new 40Tbps submarine cable between Port Hedland and the Australia Singapore Cable. This will create a new onshore/offshore protected network ring between Perth and Port Hedland, providing a new level of resiliency and redundancy for Australia’s fibre backbone.