Australian telecommunications company Vocus Group is building a submarine cable to replace the slower South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe (SEA-Me-We 3) cable network, the only submarine link between the city of Perth in Western Australia and Singapore, which is near full capacity. The new cable will link Perth to Singapore via Jakarta in Indonesia as well as Christmas Island.

The new Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) will be a more agile and robust submarine cable system, planned to be ready for use by July 2018. The construction is now underway at the landing sites in Singapore, Indonesia, and Western Australia.

At 39,000 kilometers in length, SEA-ME-WE 3 is the longest telecom cable in the world, spanning across 39 landing stations. A part of this crucial undersea cable runs through Indonesia—a high seismic zone that experiences many earthquakes each year. The cable system has two fibre pairs carrying 48 wavelengths of 10gbps or 480gbps in each direction. Even so, as consumption increases, there is a need for increased capacity.

“The ASC network has been designed specifically with Indonesia in mind, providing the geographic diversity required to support Indonesia’s critical information infrastructure,” Vocus Group chairman Vaughan Bowen said at the launch of the cable in Indonesia.

“Through Vocus’ transmission network and long-term capacity rights with trans-Pacific cable systems, the ASC will provide the missing link connecting Asian customers to global internet and cloud content located in the US via an alternative Great Southern Route. Indonesia is soon to be a key hub in the middle of these traffic flows, rather than an end-point of the region’s fiber optic networks.”

The upcoming subsea cable network is designed to open up new and exciting opportunities for Asian and Australian businesses. With the capacity of 40tbps, the ASC will offer better speeds and low latency compared to the existing submarine network.

“These days, we are more dependent on submarine cable technology needs than we realize,” Vocus Group said in a press release. “Sadly, outages can never be wholly predicted or prevented, but there are workarounds to minimize disruptions. In this scenario, it is vital to go for a submarine cable operator who takes measures to minimize the impact of the outage. The resilience of the network is important to ensure that your business takes its rightful position in the global economy.”