Reception warm for sea cable

PLANS to bolster Tasmania's communications ties with the mainland through a deep sea, fibre-optic cable have the state's ICT sector buzzing.

Telecommunications infrastructure company SubPartners announced on Tuesday that it would soon begin rolling out a submarine cable across Bass Strait.

Construction is expected to start within months, with the project planned to be completed by mid-2016.

The cable will wrap around Tasmania, branching out to Hobart en route from Perth to Sydney.

There are also plans to develop branches to Adelaide and Melbourne.

The 5300-kilometre cable will complement a similar connection that SubPartners is developing between Singapore and Australia, as well as one it hopes to stretch between Australia and the US.

The company said the cable would deliver high-speed, cost- effective and reliable data connectivity.

TasICT executive officer Dean Winter said the project was one of the most exciting Tasmania had seen "for a very long time".

"It has the potential to open Tasmania up to a whole range of new economic opportunities not previously available," Mr Winter said.

"Tasmania's clean energy, skilled workforce, cool climate and low security risks have always been attractive attributes for data centre providers, but our downfall has always been the cost of data transfer on and off-island and inadequate redundancy."

Mr Winter said the cable would place Tasmania right in the middle of data transfer across Australia "as opposed to basically at the end of a fibre cul-de-sac".

Damian Ivereigh, owner of Launceston-based telecommunications company LaunTel, said the cable would put his company on a more level playing field with industry heavyweights.

"This infrastructure will drive backhaul costs down and allow us to compete with large telecommunication providers, bringing Tasmanian business services to a global market," Mr Ivereigh said.


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