Advanced Television

Telstra commits A$1.6bn to fibre plan

February 3, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Australia’s Telstra is to invest up to A$1.6 billion (€1.01bn) to support new inter-city links within Australia and to provide links and capacity for Viasat’s satellite system.

The telco said it expected to invest between A$1.4 billion and A$1.6 billion outside of its business-as-usual capital expenditure over the next five years. Telstra said one of the projects will see it build a new “state-of-the-art inter-city dual fibre paths” that add up to 20,000km of new terrestrial fibre.

Typical improvements will see data-rates rise from today’s 100 Gb/s to 650 Gb/s. It will enable express connectivity between capital cities up to 55Tb/s per fibre pair capacity (over six times today’s typical capacity of 8.8Tb/s per fibre pair) on routes such as Sydney – Melbourne; Sydney – Brisbane; and Perth – Sydney.

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,” commented Penn. “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. The other major infrastructure project being funded by Telstra 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.”

Penn added the Viasat build-out would be “the largest-scale satellite solution deployment in the nation’s history.”

Telstra said it will co-locate Viasat’s satellite access node (SAN) equipment at hundreds of sites across Australia and will build and manage high-speed fibre links to each site.

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