New fibre optic cable a boon for Kangaroo Island community
SA Power Networks is constructing a new 150-kilometre-long fibre optic cable connection that will improve the management of electricity supply for the western part of the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, as well as enable the transformation of the telecommunication sector for Kangaroo Island households and businesses.
Improved connectivity, including the connection of Kangaroo Island with fibre optic cable, has been identified as a key priority for the island in Regional Development Australia’s (RDA’s) Strategic Regional Plan for Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island.
The $7 million SA Power Networks project will utilise the undersea fibre cores built within the 15-kilometre continuous undersea 33,000 Volt power cable installed in 2018 to connect Kangaroo Island with Cape Jervis on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula.
The fibre optic cable will help improve monitoring and management of the island’s electricity supply.
Director of Regional Development for Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island, Steve Shotton, said the new fibre optic cable being built by SA Power Networks would bring significant benefits beyond energy supply management.
“RDA has been advocating for a fibre optic connection to Kangaroo Island and this is great news. The connection has potential to provide the Island and western Fleurieu Peninsula with greater mobile phone coverage, faster and more reliable internet, and access to cloud services – all of which will be a boon for residents and tourists, health and education providers, government, industry, and businesses,” he said.
SA Power Networks Head of Corporate Affairs, Paul Roberts, said installation of the fibre optic cable, which will connect the electricity distributor’s network operations centre to Kingscote substation, was underway and would be completed by July 2024.
“This will improve our ability to remotely monitor and manage electricity services for the Island. At the same time, the significant capacity of our fibre optic link creates the opportunity to improve telecommunications on the Island,” Paul said.
“Currently KI relies on a microwave link and it just does not have the speeds and capacity offered by our fibre optic cable, which is potentially capable of delivering second to none high data speeds and remote cloud storage data services.”
SA Power Networks is currently negotiating with various telecommunications businesses offering them the opportunity to utilise the fibre optic cable to deliver improved services for their customers on Kangaroo Island.