Aussies to construct a new undersea web cable

Australia is currently connected to south-east Asia by a cable owned by Telstra, which effectively can charge what it likes.

All that is set to change when Australia-Singapore Cable Ltd announced that a 4800 kilometre cable will begin construction early next year.

It will means that internet costs could fall because the new cable gives internet providers more choice when choosing a backhaul provider. The new cable will have faster backhaul speeds into Australia.

The cable is being built by Alcatel-Lucent. It’s currently in the design and route survey phase. Construction starts in early 2012 and the cable is expected to be operating in 2013.

It will run from Perth, over Indonesia’s Sunda Strait and land in Singapore. It will manage 100 gigabit per second with the wind behind it.

ASC chairman Peter McGrath wrote in a statement that the new cable system will fill the much needed gap in the marketplace connecting Australia via the Indian ocean to Singapore and offering a more cost effective, higher capacity and lower latency route than alternative east coast routes.

It also means that NextGen will have an overseas link to carry internet traffic from its new cross-country underground fibre-optic network. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, all this will also help NextGen take on Australia’s biggest telco Telstra, which has a huge segment of the Australian market.