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Vocus Focuses On Submarine Cable

Vocus COO Ellie Sweeney has revealed the company will build a cable to close the loop on its national network between Geraldton and Port Hedland in northern WA, under the banner of Project Horizon.

“In total, Project Horizon will establish a 2000-kilometre network of both new and existing fibre between Port Hedland and Perth via Newman, Meekatharra and Geraldton,” Sweeney told a Comms Day Summit.

Sweeney added that the company sees opportunities in building submarine cables as “new sovereign infrastructure”.

In 2018, Canberra decided to use around AU$200 million of its foreign aid budget to lock Huawei out of building a subsea cable to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Instead of Huawei, Vocus eventually picked up a $137 million contract to build the cable.

Sweeney said Vocus is currently on a path to be acquired by Macquarie Infrastructure and Aware Super, at a valuation of AU$3.5 billion, to remain in local hands.

“It’s about having a sovereign network, which is supported by two of Australia’s leading institutions and operated by secure staff, based in secure network operations centres,” Sweeney said.

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