Brisbane-based tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, best known for founding data centre developer NextDC, is now set to roll out Australia’s first hyperscale national fibre network.
The $1.5 billion, 20,000 kilometre fibre network, dubbed Hyperone, is Australia’s largest private, independent digital infrastructure project.
The network, which will feature interconnection points to undersea cables from Asia, the Americas and Antarctic, will be capable of carrying over 10,000 terabits per second—more traffic than every other national backbone built in Australia combined.
It will also feature 1,000 “on-ramps” in regional and remote areas enabling underserved communities and remote areas access.
“With the current geopolitical instability in the region there is unprecedented opportunity for Australia to become the region’s leading, secure and stable hub for future industries and jobs,” Slattery said.
“I want to see this project made by Australians for Australians.”
Hyperone has been registered as a stand-alone entity by Slattery, who also has a family holding company, Capitalb, and interests in several other businesses, including ASX-listed Superloop and Megaport.
Slattery’s SUB.CO group recently completed the manufacturing stage for 9,800 kilometre of cable to connect Perth with Oman, in a project aimed at improving internet connectivity and reducing latency with the Middle East and Europe.
His existing investments also include sonar radar group Fiber Sense and ASX-listed software companies intelliHR and Pointerra.
The network will mean renewed investment and development interest in South Australia, with Adelaide tipped to become a major beneficiary as the most connected city nationally, with direct links to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin.
Darwin, earmarked to be positioned as the “digital gateway to Asia”, will also see its national profile lift with the cable set to transform the region over the coming decade.
The city could be positioned to rival the Sunshine Coast as Australia’s emerging “Silicon Valley" and could mean an influx of Australian IT graduates moving to the city as local tech firms shore up their Asian foothold.
Slattery has already commenced discussions with the National Broadband Network, the Northern Australian Infrastructure Fund, federal and state governments as well as launching an online portal for interested companies looking to partner on the project.
Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner said the project would underpin thousands of new jobs in the territory.
“Hyperone will help cement the Territory’s position as Australia’s comeback capital, making Darwin the key point of digital interconnect between South East Asia, the fastest growing digital market on earth and Australia’s east coast.
“We will be the digital entrance for the rest of Asia into Australia, and we are ready to roll out the red carpet.
“This will create jobs here in the Territory, as well as opening up considerable economic opportunities and encouraging digital investment in the Territory,” Gunner said.
Australia’s five existing submarine cables—four into Sydney and the fifth into Perth—carry around 98 per cent of Australia’s international internet traffic.
More than 10,000 jobs are likely to be created during construction phase, which is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year and be completed by 2025, subjected to funding.