Comms Minister: Darwin digital hub on the cards

Federal Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, has announced that Darwin could play host to a new digital hub following the rollout of the territory capital’s first-ever direct connection to the globally connected high-capacity subsea telecommunications cable.

The 7,700km Vocus-deployed Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC), which its developers promise will bridge the digital divide and unlock new opportunities and innovation in the Northern Territory, is now complete.

The project, which was supported by a $7.9 million investment from the Northern Territory Government as part of its Terabit Territory strategy, followed the rollout of a final 1,000 km cable linking Vocus’ existing North-West Cable System, running from Port Hedland to Darwin, to its Perth-based Australia-Singapore Cable – resulting in the first international submarine cable connection into Darwin.

The Minister said the project was a “significant milestone” towards Darwin becoming a major digital hub for the region, given the direct and indirect benefits for local businesses arising from better connectivity and more reliable communications.

It is also expected to benefit a wider range of stakeholders, from remote Indigenous communities through to resource operators in the Pilbara, by providing low-latency connectivity directly into Asia and enabling locals to connect on a global scale.

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles, said that the DJSC cable was a “massive sign of confidence in the Top End” and would help diversify its economy by creating long-term skilled jobs.

We are proud to have worked with Vocus, through a $7.9 million Local Jobs Fund grant, to boost our digital capabilities and deliver more opportunities for the Territory,” she said.

The launch will also open new opportunities across the Northern Territory for advanced manufacturing, data centres and cloud-based computing services for both locals and future investors.

“Diversification of our international cable landing points is strategically important for Australia’s telecommunications resilience. Removing our reliance on a single cable landing point minimises vulnerabilities and increases our ability to remain connected,” Minister Rowland added.

“The launch of the new cable today is a great example of the local and regional benefits that can be delivered through close collaboration between Commonwealth and Territory Governments, and industry partners like Vocus.”