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Telstra to support Pilbara mining industry

Following the destruction of Juukan Gorge in 2020, the federal government will legislate new protections for Indigenous heritage sites.

Telstra will build five new major routes as part of its Intercity Fibre project, while expanding fibre connections across the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

As part of the Intercity Fibre project, Telstra plans to deliver up to 20,000km of new ultra-high capacity and low-latency fibre that will supplement its existing fibre network.

It will enable increased transmission between Australian capital cities, including Sydney to Melbourne, Sydney to Brisbane, and Perth to Sydney.

Detailed planning for the project’s five additional routes, including an Adelaide to Darwin connection, has commenced and will begin construction in 2025.

The fibre network expansion and upgrade in the Pilbara region is also in the planning stage for FY23–FY27.

“As the largest investor in digital infrastructure in Australia, we are uniquely positioned to design and deliver this critical infrastructure, which will enable ultrafast connectivity between capital cities,” Telstra chief executive officer Vicki Brady said.

“Importantly, we have future-proofed the design and given ourselves the ability to extend this connectivity into regional and remote communities as demand grows and other partnerships arise, which will open up opportunities for regionally based industries and businesses.”

One of these industries includes the Australian mining industry, which has a very prominent presence in the Pilbara region.

“This connectivity will build Australia’s fibre resiliency and support data centres that facilitate cloud and AI, remote working and education needs, health services, high-definition entertainment consumption and online gaming, and IoT (Internet of Things) use cases such as mining and agriculture,” Brady said.

“With over $180 billion of investment coming from mining, oil and gas, clean energy and other sectors, the Pilbara and northwest of Australia is set to see significant growth over the coming decade.”

The Intercity Fibre project was first announced in February 2022, with its construction beginning a month later. Its first five priority routes were announced in August 2022.

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