Indigo to build Perth-Singapore cable ‘ahead of schedule’

 Route competition rises.

Construction of the Indigo consortium’s Perth-Singapore subsea cable project will begin “ahead of schedule”, in a sign of intensifying competition to secure custom on the west coast transmission route.

Indigo is a consortium of AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra.

They collectively took over the SubPartners-only APX-West and APX-Central projects in April last year. SubPartners was acquired by the Bevan Slattery-founded Superloop.

Indigo is set to be one of two new cables on the route that is currently served by the frequently-severed Sea-Me-We3 cable.

The other project to serve the route – the Vocus-owned Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) – has a significant head start and is set to be lit around the middle of this year.

Indigo – by contrast – has been shooting for go-live in 2019. Originally, it was envisaged for a mid-2019 timeframe but the site currently shows a Q1 2019 ready for service date instead.

However, there are now suggestions the timeline could be moved up further, after Slattery revealed that Indigo’s build was being fast-tracked.

“The progress of the Indigo project to date has been terrific, and with some improvements in the program we are now expecting construction to be ahead of schedule,” he said in statement.

“2018 is going to be a very big year.”

Superloop also announced that its share of capacity on the Indigo cable would be “available in over 18 data centres in Singapore, four data centres in Perth and over 20 data centres in Sydney”.

“Accessible facilities include Digital Realty, Equinix, NextDC, Global Switch, Telstra Global, Fujitsu, NTT, iO, 1-Net, STT/Tata, Rack Central as well as both the Australian and Singapore stock exchanges,” Slattery said.

Superloop’s plans for its new subsea capacity followed an announcement from build rival Vocus that it would bolster its own terrestrial network capacity into major data centres in preparation for the arrival of its own ASC project.

The subsea cable industry is currently gathered in Hawaii for the annual Pacific Telecommunications Council summit.