With Pacific Fibre’s trans-Pacific cable plan collapsing, sources say plans are underway for a new undersea telecom cable connecting Perth with Jakarta and
Australian telecom entrepreneurs Ted Pretty and Bevan Slattery are believed to be behind a new venture called Australia Indonesia Singapore Cable, in association with the major submarine cable installation firm TE Subcom.
Pretty and Slattery are both board members at NextDC but the cable venture is understood to be completely independent of that firm. Both men have strong track records: Slattery conceived the PPC-1 cable between Sydney and Guam which is now owned by TPG, while Pretty is a former Telstra group MD who now chairs two venture capital firms and the ANZ unit of Tech Mahindra.
CommsDay attempted to contact Slattery for comment yesterday but he was travelling to the London Olympics and unreachable.
CommsDay understands that the AISC venture is talking to potential Indonesian partners and filed an application for a carrier license with the Australian Communications and Media Authority last week.
There are already two proposed cables on the same route: one backed by Leightons, the other by Huawei Marine. Slattery and Pretty are believed to be working on the premise that both these cables are unlikely to proceed.
Although Western Australia-Singapore is traditionally an extremely thin route compared to the hundreds of gigabits utilised between Sydney and the United States there are good reasons to believe this will change. The giant Square Kilometre Array radio telescope planned for the Australian outback will generate tremendous amounts of data for transmission to international researchers, while both Singapore and Hong Kong are developing as significant regional hubs for content delivery and cloud computing and are set to rival the US West Coast as major global centres for traffic hand-off. The US is also losing attraction as a landing place for new cables due to the possible introduction of a 15.7% universal service levy on all systems that traverse American territory.