Aussie Broadband lays Sydney Harbour Tunnel fibre

November 5th, 2020. Arnel Duracak

Aussie Broadband is currently hauling fibre cable through the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, as the company starts its privately-owned dark fibre roll out in NSW.

The NSW build marks another key step in Aussie Broadband’s dark fibre network rollout and is  expected to be finished early next year.

The 720 core optical fibre cable, which is being installed by Global Utility Construction, will link Sydney CBD to North Sydney.

Managing Director Phillip Britt said the tunnel is a significant part of the build because it will string together the main fibre run.

“In many ways, it’s very similar to our first build in Melbourne,” he said.

“We had originally planned to install a cable through the water, like a submarine cable. But there was already an available duct that runs through the tunnel so we decided to take that route instead,” Phil said.

Aaron Wright, Managing Director at Global Utility Construction, said there was a tight time frame to get the work done due to heavy traffic in the tunnel.

“We had to operate within a very strict schedule, with a four hour window available on specific nights only,” Aaron said. “A total of around 2 kilometres of fibre has been laid so far.

“It runs from near NBN’s Dalley POI or Point of Interconnect through the tunnel and out into North Sydney. The next POI on the north is St Leonards, but that’s 2-3km north of the tunnel exit,” he said.

The new fibre network can offer speeds of up to 10Gbps for business customers, and speeds in excess of 100Gbps for specialist applications.

“It will pick up 3 Equinix data centres in Alexandria, and the NBN POIs in Newton, Glebe, City South and Dalley. This is the hardest part because there’s about 3.5km of civil construction needed in Alexandria alone,” Aaron said.

Phil said he anticipated that all POIs will be connected at the same time.

“Sydney will be a simple run from Alexandria to Macquarie Park, but the diverse path will follow,” he said. “There’s around 1,000m to construct in Macquarie Park and it will pick up 2 data centres; NextDC S1 and NextDC S2.”

In Victoria, Aussie Broadband has already started running fibre out to suburban NBN POIs in Hawthorn, Kew, Balwyn North, Nunawading and Ringwood.

Phil said the St Kilda, Caulfield and Cheltenham NBN POIs are expected to be completed in the next few months.

“We plan to build fully diverse routes to over 75 NBN POIs and 24 key data centres across Australia,” he said.

Aussie Broadband successfully launched on the ASX last month and also recently won the “Customer Service Organisation of the Year (large)” at the 2020 Australian Service Excellence Awards.

More information about Aussie Broadband’s fibre network can be found here.


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Photos: Global Utility Construction installing fibre through the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.