Google, Telstra back new subsea cable system

APX West and Central cable system gets a new name: INDIGO

The APX West and Central cable system has a new name — INDIGO — and new backers, with a consortium comprising AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Optus parent company Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra announcing today that they had struck a deal with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build the subsea cable.

The 9000-kilometre cable will connect Singapore, Australia and Indonesia. In Australia the cable will land in Perth, and from there connect to Sydney. Each of the cable system’s two-fibre pairs will deliver bandwidth of at least 18 terabits per second. Members of the consortium will own spectrum on the cable.

ASX-listed fibre network operator Superloop announced today that it had acquired SubPartners. Both companies were founded by Bevan Slattery.

Slattery, who is the chairperson and CEO of the Superloop Group said in a statement: “We are very excited by the prospect of offering customers a fully meshed Pan-Asian network, connecting the existing metropolitan networks which we own and operate. Once the cables are complete, we will have even more capacity to meet growing customer demand across the region.”

SubPartners has previously detailed plans to have APX West and APX Central land at NextDC’s P1 data centre in Perth.

“The acquisition of SubPartners will deliver Superloop strategic assets including ownership of international submarine cable capacity as a member of the INDIGO consortium which is constructing the INDIGO West cable(Singapore to Perth) and the INDIGO Central cable (Perth to Sydney),” Superloop’s statement to the ASX said.

“The acquisition will also deliver Superloop a team with substantial submarine cable experience and an ability to lead or participate in other future potential undersea cable investments.”

In its announcement of support for INDIGO, Google emphasised the potential to boost the bandwidth available to its cloud customers. Google last year detailed plans to launch a a Sydney Google Cloud Region.

“With Internet data consumption growing by 70 per cent in Asia last year alone these sorts of investments in international networks are critical for meeting the needs of connected consumers and businesses,” Telstra group managing director of global services and international, David Burns, said in a statement.

“This will be an important piece of technology infrastructure connecting South East Asia and Australia, and follows a number of recent network enhancements Telstra has undertaken to meet growing demand for data and better connectivity from our customers across the Asia Pacific region.”