Smap.hero3.desktop
Smap.logo.white

UPDATES

The build progress of Australia’s newest transcontinental network

Follow the progress of SMAP as SUBCO builds one of the most powerful undersea cables in the world

LEARN MORE ABOUT SMAP
Smap.hero.mobile
Smap.logo.white

UPDATES

The build progress of Australia’s newest transcontinental network

Follow the progress of SMAP as SUBCO builds one of the most powerful undersea cables in the world

Learn more about SMAP

Day 338

SMAP Build Progress

30%

Installation Permits (5)

Commonwealth

In Progress

New South Wales

In Progress

South Australia

In Progress

Victoria

In Progress

Western Australia

In Progress

Inshore

Complete

Deep Water

Complete

Terminal Equipment

Not Started

Cables

In Progress

Repeaters

In Progress

System Assembly

Not Started

Sydney

In Progress

Melbourne (Torquay)

In Progress

Adelaide

In Progress

Perth

In Progress

Cable Loading

Not Started

Transit

Not Started

Cable Laying

Not Started

Sydney

In Progress

Melbourne (Torquay)

In Progress

Adelaide

Not Started

Perth

In Progress

Acceptance Testing

Not Started

Provisional Acceptance

Not Started

SLTE Integration

Not Started

Day 338

SMAP Build Progress

30%

Installation Permits (5)

Commonwealth

In Progress

New South Wales

In Progress

South Australia

In Progress

Victoria

In Progress

Western Australia

In Progress

Inshore

Complete

Deep Water

Complete

Terminal Equipment

Not Started

Cables

In Progress

Repeaters

In Progress

System Assembly

Not Started

Sydney

In Progress

Melbourne (Torquay)

In Progress

Adelaide

In Progress

Perth

In Progress

Cable Loading

Not Started

Transit

Not Started

Cable Laying

Not Started

Sydney

In Progress

Melbourne (Torquay)

In Progress

Adelaide

Not Started

Perth

In Progress

Acceptance Testing

Not Started

Provisional Acceptance

Not Started

SLTE Integration

Not Started

Native vegetation reporting

Engagement Environment Traditional Owners

July 18, 2024

A very important aspect of our SMAP build is respecting Country. We’re prioritising engagement with First Nations stakeholders and making sure to respect traditional knowledge and customs. Sometimes this looks like taking the time to be welcomed to Country, other times this means conducting thorough environmental impact assessments. Particularly, we are carefully planning our cable route to protect Australia’s delicate marine habitats, as well as engaging local communities transparently. SUBCO prioritises Indigenous engagement, respecting traditional knowledge. We’re committed to development, sustainably.

SMAP will be Australia’s first fully armoured long-haul undersea cable

Armoured Cable First

July 16, 2024

Da.cable.design

SMAP is poised to make waves in pioneering Australia’s first sully armoured subsea cable, representing a significant advancement in safeguarding critical communication infrastructure. The fully armoured design, adapted with varying levels of protection along different sections of the cable, offers unparalleled protection against potential threats and unplanned outages.

Double Armour (DA) (pictured) adds two layers of high-strength galvanised armour wires at the external of a normal Light Weight cable. Typically, double armouring is suitable for shallow water, since this is where anchors and abrasion are a risk.

Single Armour (SA) has a single layer of galvanised armour, and can be deployed at buried areas and risky regions with bottom trawling, fishing, and other activities that can adversely affect the cable. Generally, single armouring is used down to 2,000m water depth.

The Light Weight Protected (LWP) armouring incorporates an external screen and an additional outer polyethylene sheath on a standard light weight cable. The LWP cable is suitable for deployment down to around 7,000m water depth in a marine environment with exposure to moderate abrasion or marine animal bites.

By fortifying SMAP, SUBCO is once more redefining standards for undersea cable infrastructure, setting a new benchmark for reliability and security in Australia’s telecommunications landscape. In additional to this, SMAP will primarily traverse deep-sea regions, a strategic decision aimed at minimising potential threats even more to enhance network security.

HDD Construction Commences in Adelaide

Adelaide Construction HDD

July 12, 2024

Adl1

SUBCO has officially begun its Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) construction effort in Adelaide.

Forming part of the Adelaide cable landing infrastructure, the 100mm ID HDD conduit will extend approximately 1000 meters from the shoreline and will break out under the surface at a depth of approximately 20 metres. For this HDD operation, a smaller pilot borehole is first drilled, and then enlarged to accommodate the final installed steel conduit in which the subsea cable will be installed at later date.

During drilling operations, the anticipated drill head speed equates to an HDD completion rate of around 96 metres per day. The HDD path may be straight or gradually curved, and the direction of the drilling head can be adjusted at any stage during the initial pilot bore to avoid detected subterranean obstacles.

As a part the early planning stage for a horizontal directional drill operation, a land-based survey of the route and a review of the near shore marine survey data was conducted to understand and minimise potential impacts.  Part of this work involves marine ecology assessments, geotechnical investigations, service location works and potholing of existing assets.

The final HDD bore design allows for sufficient underground clearance to sensitive near shore marine environments, eliminating the risk of surface impact and ensuring that the HDD implementation meets project approval criteria.

Overall, we anticipate this part of the project to take around 12 weeks to complete.

Adl2
Adl3

Engaging with Torquay: A new partnership on the horizon

Partnership SLSC Torquay

July 9, 2024

Torquay1

As part of its local engagement activities, The team has been meeting with local bodies and communities in Torquay to provide education about our new low impact optic fibre network. As part of this engagement, Co-CEO of Soda Infrastructure Belle Lajoie headed down with the team last week and met with representatives of the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club to discuss a potential partnership with Torquay SLSC, working with us on an ongoing basis to assist in overseeing our assets. We aim to work with the Torquay SLSC to formalise this arrangement and partnership agreement in coming months.

The proposed partnership will allow SUBCO to contribute to the local community on an ongoing basis after the project is complete and ensure the Torquay community remains engaged and has an ongoing relationship with SUBCO. SUBCO is 100% Australian owned and is working to ensure the SMAP Project integrates seamlessly with the Torquay community.

Torquay2
Torquay3
Torquay4

A memorable visit to the ASN Factory

July 4, 2024

Asn.visit.1
SUBCO’s founder and CEO, Bevan Slattery, came away from his first in-person inspection of Alcatel Submarine Networks’ (ASN) Greenwich facility thoroughly impressed with the calibre of manufacturing and quality assurance of SMAP’s critical equipment.
ASN welcomed Slattery, alongside SUBCO’s UK team, family and distinguished guests, to tour the facility in London where manufacturing of the system’s repeaters, branching units (BUs), power feed equipment (PFEs) and submarine line terminating equipment (SLTE) is underway.
SUBCO had the exciting opportunity to sign three of the system’s repeaters which will be laid more than 4,800m below sea level off the coast of Sydney – a momentous gesture to symbolise SUBCO making its mark on the future of Australian connectivity.
As an industry leader and trusted partner of SUBCO, ASN were proud to present their Greenwich facility which is the site of over 150 years’ worth of telecommunication cable equipment manufacturing.
Asn.visit.2
Asn.visit.3
Asn.visit.4
Asn.visit.5

Profile: Dan Wright

Cable Profile Terrestrial

July 2, 2024

Dan.wright

As a Project manager for SUBCO, Dan Wright plays a pivotal role in overseeing multiple components of the SMAP build. His primary focus is on designing routes, managing the construction of both ocean outfalls and routes, and handling stakeholder management with key partners involved in the cable’s construction.

With eight years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Dan has consistently placed Project and Construction Management at the forefront of his career. Prior to SUBCO, Dan worked with NBN and Telstra, where each project provided opportunities for continuous improvement, which helped him refine his skillset.

Dan has stated that the SMAP build stands out as one of the most exciting infrastructure projects, he has ever been involved with. “From its extensive scope to the profound impact this cable will have on Australia, I find immense satisfaction and enthusiasm in contributing to such a transformative build.”

Understanding Subsea: ACMA Cable Protection Zones

ACMA Protection Understanding Subsea

June 27, 2024

Once a cable is installed, what’s stopping it from being someone’s next catch of the day? Well, ACMA protection zones. Designated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, these protection zones establish safeguards around submarine cable infrastructure to prevent damage from activities like anchoring, trawling, or fishing. The zones typically extend 500 metres on each side of the cable, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity and preventing costly repairs or service disruptions. ACMA protection zones also promote environmental conservation by minimising disturbances to marine ecosystems. This is because preserving the integrity of our submarine cable networks reduces the environmental footprint delineated by repairs or replacements. In essence, these zones are serving as a cornerstone for sustainable infrastructure development, balancing technological advancement with ecological stewardship in Australia’s precious marine environments.

Smoking Ceremony & Groundbreaking in Adelaide

Adelaide Ceremony Groundbreaking

June 25, 2024

Construction is underway!

Wednesday 19th June, 2024, we turned the first sod on the new $400 million SMAP Cable in Adelaide with South Australia Minister for Trade and Investment, Joe Szakacs and the traditional owners the Kaurna people.

SUBCO is excited to move into the construction stage of the 5,000 km new subsea transcontinental cable connecting Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth for the first time.

South Australia will soon have its first international subsea data cable delivering faster speeds and improved security and a new diverse path for the state.  Thank you to our building partners that joined us today Codmah and Apex Communication Technologies. 

Manufacture Update: Cable insulation in progress

June 18, 2024

As the SMAP cable manufacturing progresses, we are currently focused on the crucial process of insulation.

Similar to other multi-conductor cables, the optical fibres in a multi-fibre cable are insulated from one another. This insulation protects them from damage during installation and use, ensuring that each fibre can be securely terminated in the associated connector or device. Furthermore, insulation plays a significant role in maintaining optimal signal strength by creating the ideal environment for the individual fibre cores to perform effectively.

The next part of the manufacturing process will be the jacketing.

Backhaul Work Commences in Torquay

Backhaul Ducts Melbourne Survey Terrestrial Torquay

June 13, 2024

Torquay.backhual.blog

Exciting developments are taking place as backhaul work has officially commenced in Torquay!

A SUBCO-approved contractor has begun the essential route feasibility study for the installation of sub-ducts and optic fibre cables along the primary path from Torquay to Melbourne. A key part of this process is the field walk exercise, which aims to determine the availability of existing ducts. This step is crucial for ensuring that the installation proceeds smoothly and efficiently, making use of the current infrastructure wherever possible.

To identify duct availability, a technique known as rod and roping is employed. This involves verifying and feeding rope through new and existing conduits to facilitate the hauling of new fibre cables and reserving capacity.

In parallel with the rod and roping, the proving exercise has also commenced. This process includes a thorough examination of the ducts to confirm their suitability for the new optic fibre cables. By conducting these exercises simultaneously, we can expedite the overall project timeline.

Stats on the walk exercise so far:

Total Distance to be walked: 98,500m
Total Distance covered so far: 65,000m
Rod & Roped: 11,000m