08 December 2021

NEXTDC announces new edge data centre network and launches first edge data centre on the Sunshine Coast (SC1)

Delivering regional businesses enhanced access to cloud and digital infrastructure

BRISBANE, Australia NEXTDC Ltd (ASX:NXT) today announced the launch of its new edge data centre network with the acquisition of its first regional data centre site in Maroochydore, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (“SC1”).

SC1 is the first in a series of geographically dispersed, edge data centres that will enable low-latency services to regional businesses and networks across Australia. Leveraging NEXTDC’s core data centre platform, these new edge sites form regional digital hubs, enabling businesses to seamlessly integrate their technology to aaS providers and cloud platforms. This new infrastructure will help bolster support for regional business communities, helping drive innovation, connectivity and growth more easily through enhanced access to digital services previously uncatered for.

Edge data centres benefit from the implementation of 5G regional networks and the growing needs of businesses who require low-latency and high resilience in their digital infrastructure.

Like NEXTDC’s metropolitan data centre footprint, these new edge sites are connected to NEXTDC’s extensive digital services ecosystem via AXON, NEXTDC’s elastic interconnection services platform. AXON will provide direct and secure access to the Company’s broader national digital services ecosystem, comprising over 700 technology partners and Australia’s largest network of public cloud onramps for Microsoft, AWS, Google, IBM, Oracle, Ali Cloud and more.

Furthermore, NEXTDC’s edge network is strategically located in proximity to critical telecommunications infrastructure. SC1 hosts the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network (“SCIBN”) Cable Landing Station. The SCIBN submarine cable connects to the 7,000km Japan-Guam-Australia South (“JGA-S”) submarine cable. JGA-S is a fibre optic cable consortium that includes AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network), Google and RTI (global subsea cable operator). With a total planned capacity of 1MW, SC1 has been engineered to support the highest levels of customer availability and is backed by NEXTDC's industry leading service guarantee of 100% uptime.

“The edge is an emerging pillar of our digital infrastructure platform. The acquisition of SC1 and the SCIBN Cable Landing Station leverages several years of research into the growth of edge computing and the current and future requirements of digitally enabled regional communities”, said NEXTDC Chief Executive Officer, Craig Scroggie. “SC1 marks an important first step in our edge data centre network expansion plans which is supported by our national digital infrastructure platform”.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said “NEXTDC, Queensland born and bred, is backing the Queensland Government’s regional digital infrastructure initiative. NEXTDC’s decision to create its first regional data centre on the Sunshine Coast shows strong confidence in our strategy to create QCN Fibre,” Mr Miles said. “Digital infrastructure is the key to regional economic development. This regional data centre showcases how state and local government initiatives attract private-sector investment and enable regional Queenslanders to access more opportunities, regardless of where they live and work.”

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick welcomed NEXTDC’s investment in taking this infrastructure to the next level. “When we first made the commitment to partner with Sunshine Coast Council to secure the undersea cable landing into Maroochydore, we knew it was a catalytic step that would bring a new era of connectivity, data capacity, speed and reliability,” the Treasurer said. “It’s vital we give businesses and industries across our vast state a competitive advantage when it comes to digital infrastructure that allows them to better manage data. “This is the first east coast landing site for a broadband network cable outside of Sydney. “We’re ensuring it will help Queensland businesses thrive and grow in the new economy.

Minister for Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said “We know that Queenslanders can benefit economically and socially from a thriving digital economy and investments into robust digital infrastructure. The partnership between NEXTDC and QCN Fibre will continually improve telecommunications coverage, capacity and competition in regional Queensland. This is more important than ever, as we invest in the future and focus on creating jobs in diverse regions and new industries across our state.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said NEXTDC, an established, respected and well-credentialed data centre provider and operator, would bring an increased technology and innovation focus to the region. “Data centres are becoming an essential part of the business, economic and social landscape and a core element of the digital architecture that underpins connectivity, accessibility, security and information storage.” “NEXTDC’s global linkages will deliver the Sunshine Coast unprecedented expertise and significant quality assurance for customers. Leveraging off NEXTDC’s expertise in this field will give the Sunshine Coast the ability to attract new businesses which would not ordinarily be found in a regional city. More jobs and a wider range of enduing, high-value employment opportunitioes, particularly in IT, will be created.” Mayor Jamieson said.

To support backhaul requirements from NEXTDC’s B1 and B2 Brisbane data centres to JGA-S, QCN Fibre has ‘lit’ up to 35 Terabytes per second of diverse telecommunications capacity.

QCN Fibre CEO, Derek Merdith commented, “Digital infrastructure is the key to regional economic development. Partnering with another Queensland innovator, NEXTDC, enables QCN Fibre to continue to improve telecommunications coverage, capacity and competition to help drive economic development in regional Queensland. We are already in discussions with some of the largest telcos in the world on how regional Queensland becomes the world’s first digital port of call to Australia. This is how we really bridge the digital divide, and how digital infrastructure drives regional investment.”

“The JGA Cable is Queensland's first undersea fibre-optic cable and provides the fastest data connection to Asia from Australia’s east coast. Having NEXTDC extend its leading data centre network at the Sunshine Coast will accelerate trade, expand education, enhance communications, and improve digital security not only for the region but across Australia as well”added RTI CEO Russ Matulich.

University of Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett said, “Our work in building a leading knowledge economy in this region requires a successful industry ecosystem for the University to operate within. Our partnership with NEXTDC will extend the technology capabilities available for University staff and students and our research partners.”

Phil Dawson, AUCloud CEO said, “NEXTDC’s SC1 data centre allows AUCloud to extend our certified strategic IaaS platform to serve government, education, healthcare and security conscious enterprise organisations operating on the Sunshine Coast. API centric, containerised micro-service infrastructure-as-code, protected by world class cyber threat monitoring capability, will create new opportunities for emerging AI, quantum and cyber solutions, uplift the efficiency and effectiveness of traditional applications and support the eco-system to transition and develop business models of the future”.

“The new NEXTDC SC1 data centre facility is a terrific initiative for businesses on the Sunshine Coast” said Digital Sense General Manager, Agim Isai. “It is a significant opportunity for sovereign cloud and connectivity providers like Digital Sense and Over the Wire to increase our service offering to new and existing customers and to continue to invest more into the Sunshine Coast economy. Having access to high performance cloud-based platforms is a key element to the digital performance of a business and this investment will contribute significantly to increasing the productivity of enterprises in the region”.

OneQode Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shearing said, “OneQode’s mission is to build the foundation for the next decade of connected experiences. A major part of that is enabling Australians to connect to gamers in Asia on equal footing. With the JGA-South cable and SC1 data centre, the Sunshine Coast has become the fastest path to our connectivity hub in Guam and the broader Asia region for our east-coast network. With NEXTDC’s investment into this region, we’re able to expand our connectivity capabilities and better serve our customers.”

Reach out to NEXTDC to find out more.