Our intercity fibre network is coming: here’s what it does

A little over a year ago, we shared that we’d broken ground on a new intercity fibre network.
Brendon Riley · 14 November 2023 · 5 minute read

It’s a massive project: a true nation-building piece of work that sets up Australia as a major digital player on the world stage.

We’ve shared an update on how it’s going at our Investor Day, and we wanted to tell you too.

Building a true next-generation fibre network for the future

Telstra InfraCo already has the largest fibre and duct network in Australia with 250,000km of fibre optic cable. The intercity fibre network will extend this even further.  It is designed to provide high-speed and high-capacity connectivity between large population centres in Australia. With it, we’ll be able to future-proof Australia’s connectivity needs for the next 20+ years.

It’s designed for big business who has a lot of data to move around for their customers. That’s why high-capacity is important: the more capacity we build, the more people can use it at once without the network becoming crowded and slowing down.

Today we announced at our Investor Day event that we’ve laid hundreds of kilometres of cables, and we’ll be commencing planning on for new fibre routes that will see all mainland capital cities connected via our world-class network and  faster than ever before.


We will have five new fibre routes between Australia’s major capital cities, including connecting into Darwin from Adelaide, as well as Sydney to Brisbane (running through Newcastle).  This is in addition to the existing five fibre routes we announced last year that are under construction, taking our total number of fibre routes to 10 for this project and nearly 14,000 kms. 

When we’re finished, this network is going to support more capacity than all other existing fibre networks in Australia combined. This is what we mean when we say “next-generation” tech.

It’s a nation-building investment that benefits both those living in cities and in regional communities. It’s going to connect industries with huge data requirements, such as data centre providers, hyperscalers and even satellite providers.

We’re even building critical fibre infrastructure for the booming Pilbara mining region in Western Australia. These primary industries are using more data than ever, so we’re looking to connect around 165 additional kilometres of fibre for new mine sites in the region.

How fast is Telstra’s new intercity fibre network?

The new fibre is fast. Really fast. The kind of speed that big businesses need to get things done for the future. 

Currently with our existing fibre network, we can hit around 8.8 terabits per second. Our new express connectivity fibre will take us to speeds of up to 55 terabits per second per fibre pair once completed.

To give you an idea of what that looks like, the size of Google’s search engine index is around 100 petabytes (or 100 million gigabytes) in size. At 8.8 terabits per second, that’s a 25-hour download. But at our 55 terabit per second speed per fibre pair, that 100 million gigabytes would download in just four hours.  

This is the only project of its type happening in the country right now. Our people are already putting cable runs in the ground and we’re not doing it by halves, either.

And, the cables themselves are made in Australia to be more resilient than ever to our local conditions.

When will the new intercity fibre network be finished?

We’ve already started the build, and we’re laying cable as quickly as we possibly can so you can get better internet speeds sooner. 

We’ll keep building to bring this awesome new connectivity to life.