Thursday, July 7, 2022

Telstra to invest up to $1.6 billion into fibre infrastructure projects

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Telstra is expected to invest up to US$1.6 billion in two fibre infrastructure projects, one for extra capacity and route diversity between capitals, and another to support a Viasat satellite system.

The telecommunications company said it expects to invest between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion out of its capital expenditures over the next five years.

About 70 percent of the commitment will coincide with the telecommunications company’s T25 transformation.

Telstra said one of the projects will see the construction of new “state-of-the-art dual-fibre intercity routes” that will add up to 20,000km of new terrestrial cable.

CEO Andrew Penn said the investment would boost inter-capital capacity, as well as capacity for regional areas.

“This will support remote working and education needs, health services, high-definition entertainment consumption and online gaming, and IoT use cases such as mining and agriculture,” Penn said. 

“There is growing demand for greater fibre capacity, enabling massive bandwidth and ultrafast data rates with lower latency. 

“The time for delivering the infrastructure to support this is now.” 

Telstra said the new inter-capital links would support transmission rates of up to 650Gbps, compared to 100Gbps today.

“It will enable express connectivity between capital cities up to 55Tbps per fibre pair capacity (over six times today’s typical capacity of 8.8Tbps per fibre pair) on routes such as Sydney – Melbourne; Sydney – Brisbane; and Perth – Sydney,” the telco said.

“The national fibre network project is a multi-year build which will commence at scale in late FY22 with early trial and test deployments already underway.”

Telstra said it had entered discussions “with key anchor customers… including with global hyperscalers, local telecommunications providers and construction partners.”

The investment in terrestrial fibre infrastructure comes as HyperOne, backed by Bevan Slattery, begins building what appears to be a similar network.

HyperOne also promises a 20,000km fibre backbone, although completed before Telstra.

The other major infrastructure project being funded by Telstra today is the construction and management of ground infrastructure and fibre to ‘support the new ViaSat-3 terabit-class global satellite system as part of [a] 16.5 year contract.”

Telstra has announced that it will locate Viasat’s SAN (Satellite Access Node) equipment in hundreds of locations across Australia, and will build and manage high-speed fiber optic links to each location.

Penn said the Viasat build would be ‘the largest-scale satellite solution deployment in the nation’s history.”

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

Matthew Giannelis
Matthew Giannelis
Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

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