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Spare ship found to fix broken submarine cable slowing Oz internet

Alcatel Submarine sends Lodbrog south from Taiwan to fix PPC-1

Alcatel Submarine Networks has dispatched the cable ship Lodbrog to service the damaged PPC-1 cable that's currently the source of a bandwidth crimp for Australia.

The Lodbrog is needed because the ship usually brought in for Australian cables, the Ile de Re, was already booked to repair the Basslink power-and-comms conduit linking Tasmania to the Australian mainland.

PPC-1 broke at the beginning of this month. The multi-terabit cable runs from Sydney to Guam, with the break located around 4,590 km from the Guam landing.

Its fix is complicated by repairs needed to Basslink.

The mainland-to-Tasmania communications cable runs alongside a power cable also owned by Basslink, and a break in the electrical cable can't be repaired without also breaking the comms link – which is what will occupy the Ile de Re.

Neither Alcatel Submarine Networks nor PPC1's owner TPG announced which ship would handle the PPC-1 break, but online marine tracking services show it as departing Taiwan en route to Cairns.

Lodbrog's location

Hang on, help is on its way: Lodbrog's location at the time of writing

TPG's announcement last week said the ship was due in Cairns on February 28, but Vessel Finder's current track for the ship suggests it will arrive in Cairns on 1 March (midnight UTC, 11am Australian Eastern Standard Time). If it continues to that schedule, the Lodbrog will be on station to commence repairs on around March 4. ®

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