Telstra and Alcatel-Lucent today demonstrated a new 9,000 kilometre submarine cable that will dramatically increase Internet capacity between Australia and the United States.
The new cable, which will be landed at Tamarama Beach this week, can be scaled up to 1.28 Terabits per second capacity between the two countries. At full capacity of 1.28 Terabits per second the cable is capable of carrying 160,000 concurrent high definition television channels.
"The explosion of user-generated online content means we need more capacity than ever before with the United States, which is already the destination for two-thirds of all Australian traffic on the internet," Ms Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale, said today.
"This cable is the largest ever built and owned by an Australian company. It's another example of Telstra investing to ensure Australia can enjoy the health care, education and productivity benefits made possible by high-speed broadband technology," Ms McKenzie said.
Alcatel-Lucent began laying the cable between Sydney and Hawaii earlier this year. Work will continue to lay the cable across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, and the cable will be operational by end-2008. From Hawaii the cable will interconnect with the new Asia America Gateway cable and other existing cables providing direct access to the mainland United States.
Hilary Mine, Alcatel-Lucent's Managing Director Australasia and North Asia, said this new project strengthens its enduring relationship with Telstra.
"As Telstra's wireline partner, Alcatel Lucent is delighted to celebrate this latest milestone in dramatically enhancing Australia's communications capacity," Ms Mine said.
The increased capacity means Telstra's retail and wholesale customers will enjoy
• higher Internet speeds and greater security when they access information from the United States on Telstra's Next G™ network and through BigPond, and when they use services such as telecommuting and videoconferencing
• an expanded range and quality of services for business customers including advanced multimedia and e-commerce applications, and more intelligent network services.
Ms McKenzie said that Telstra first invested in Next G™ wireless broadband and ADSL2+ fixed broadband, and now we are investing in undersea cables to give our customers the best experience possible.
"All of these investments are occurring where there are benefits for customers, and where Telstra can make a commercial return on its investment," Ms McKenzie said.