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NEXTDC, NT govt unveil data centre development plans

By Shannon Williams
Wed 30 Mar 2022

NEXTDC and the Northern Territory government have shared detailed plans surrounding the development of NEXTDC’s new data centre in Darwin, D1, which will underpin its digital territory strategy.

NEXTDC is working in partnership with the Northern Territory Government to drive the economic development of its technology capabilities in the region.

Located at 2 Harvey Street in Darwin’s central business district, the D1 site is strategically positioned next to a major electricity substation as well as critical telecommunications, utilities, public infrastructure and the Charles Darwin University Campus. Subject to development approval, it is expected to accommodate a data centre facility capable of approximately 8MW of capacity.

This new facility will also include an Innovation Centre; a purpose-built collaboration hub that will promote research, development and new incubator programs, as well as Mission Critical Operations space. This will enable customers to operate and monitor their high availability and business critical services, such as mine sites, disaster management centres, network operations, satellite operations, security operations and remote operations centres.

"Championing NEXTDC’s core principles for quality and reliability, D1 will enable secure, lower latency access to cloud and digital services, allowing Northern Territory businesses to harness the benefits of cloud enabled services and emerging technologies such as automation, IoT, artificial intelligence, satellite and 5G," NEXTDC says.

"Additionally, NT businesses that move their IT operations to D1 will gain access to the country's largest digital ecosystem comprising the world's largest cloud platforms including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud and Alibaba, along with the nation’s carrier networks and service provider partners via the AXON interconnection platform."

Vocus, the facility’s anchor tenant, will host its new services and associated infrastructure in the D1 facility. Vocus will also provide high-capacity connectivity to D1 on its Terabit Territory fibre network.

D1 is primed to enter one of Australia’s most innovative renewable energy markets joining the Northern Territory Government’s commitment to 50% renewable energy by 2030 and Sun Cables 3.2GW dispatchable solar power sub-sea cable terminating in Darwin.

“NEXTDC’s commitment to supporting the Northern Territory’s goal of becoming a key destination for digital growth extends beyond our initial D1 development,” says NEXTDC chief executive officer, Craig Scroggie. 

“We have also secured the rights for an additional and significant land parcel for our second Darwin site (D2). This site is in excess of 15 hectares and will provide additional capacity for the long-term development of a hyperscale campus designed to serve the emerging Asia South region connected to Darwin by new international submarine cable networks.”

NEXTDC is working in partnership with the NT Government and the Land Development Corporation to further plan this large-scale data centre and renewable energy expansion project.

“This investment will help us diversify and strengthen the Territory economy,” says NT chief minister Michael Gunner. 

“Not only will it create jobs for Territory tradies during construction, but the innovation centre will spur the growth of tech businesses here in the Territory and create digital careers for locals," he says.

"NEXTDC’s investment cements Darwin as Northern Australia’s most advanced digital economy, and this will open the door to new opportunities for future investment in cloud-based computing services and advanced manufacturing," Gunner adds. 

"We are Australia’s comeback capital, but we also want to be Australia’s destination for all things digital.” 

Charles Darwin University College of Engineering, IT and Environment Dean, David Young adds, “CDU educates IT and engineering professionals, and we are excited to work with NEXTDC, Vocus and the NTG to provide a tech workforce for the Territory in areas such as data science and cybersecurity.

"CDU has a close relationship with the IT and energy industries of the Northern Territory, who take our students as interns and permanent employees," he says. 

"The proximity of D1 to the new CDU Campus will immerse our students in a world-class digital ecosystem.”

Vocus chief executive officer, Kevin Russell  says Vocus and NEXTDC make ideal partners to bring the Digital Territory Strategy to life. 

"Vocus recently completed the Terabit Territory fibre upgrade, delivering 25 times more capacity into Darwin, and we’ve commenced work on the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system and Project Horizon which will provide a new fibre route from Perth to Port Hedland and onto Darwin," he says. 

"With NEXTDC’s D1 and Vocus’ major fibre infrastructure investments, Darwin now rivals Australia’s major capitals when it comes to digital connectivity.”

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