Australian telco Vocus Networks has begun laying the Darwin, Australia, segment of its Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) subsea cable.

This is the last AU$100 million (US$67.9m) segment of the DJSC and will see Darwin connected to South-East Asia.

Vocus DJSC.png
– Vocus

Being laid by the Ile de Re cable ship owned by Alcatel Submarine Networks, DJSC will have a maximum capacity of 40Tbps, have 14 repeaters, use dense wavelength division multiplexing, and have a submarine optical switch.

While an optical switch is an unusual addition, Vocus said that it will enable teams to “remotely balance and optimize the amount of optical wavelength available for different routes on the cable.”

Ellie Sweeney, Vocus CEO as of February 2023, said: “The completion of our Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system will open up new possibilities for the north-west of Australia, providing direct international connectivity into Darwin as an alternative route to Perth or the east coast of Australia."

Plans for the segment were first announced in August 2021.

The cable is due to go live by mid-2023 and will, once completed, connect Darwin to Vocus’ Australia Singapore Cable linking Perth and Singapore via Christmas Island and Jakarta. It will also see Darwin lined to the North-West Cable System to Port Hedland in Western Australia.

BlueMed subsea cable begins laying in Genoa, Italy

In Europe, communications infrastructure provider Sparkle this week confirmed that it had begun laying the BlueMed subsea cable in Genoa, Italy.

BlueMed will connect Italy with France, Greece, and Israel, with several other branches across the Mediterranean. The cable will have four fiber pairs and a capacity of over 25Tbps per pair.

Sparkle CEO Enrico Bagnasco said: "We are proud to have realized with BlueMed and the Genoa Landing Platform a state-of-the-art infrastructure that reinforces the role of Italy, and Genoa in particular, in the global internet by creating a new digital corridor between Europe and the African and Asian continents."

Subsea cable
– Getty Images

The initial deployment of the subsea cable began on January 31, starting with the branch connecting Golfo Aranci, Sardinia with Pomezia, Rome.

The landing in Genoa will happen off the port, at the Genoa Landing Platform which has a multi-conductor submarine pipeline known as the Bore Pipe, and extends in a 6km network of tunnels to reach the Genoa Lagaccio Open Landing Station.

From Genoa, the subsea cable will continue on across the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Sicily hub in Palermo, where Sparkle’s data center is situated. From here, the cable will proceed through the Strait of Messina and the Mediterranean Sea down to the Red Sea.

The Genoa-Golfo Aranci-Pomezia-Palermo section is expected to be operational from May 2023, and the extension to Corsia in Bastia will be completed in June 2023.

Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci said: "Genoa is even more connected to the world and can play a central role as a hub in the Italian, European, and global scenario. We must and want, as an administration, to be perceived as a facilitator towards companies, we want to make people understand that innovation means efficiency and that it is possible to do things well and quickly for the benefit of citizens and those who want to operate in our territory."

Several companies are currently laying subsea cables around Italy. Last month, Unitirreno announced plans for a 1,030km subsea cable connecting Mazara del Vallo in Sicily and Genoa, as well as a branch to Rome. The system is expected to be ready for service by Q2 of 2025.

Also in February 2023, the IslaLink Ionian cable made its landing on the east coast of Italy at Crotone. Ionia will span 320km and offer 360Tbps of capacity and is expected to be live later this year.

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