Simon Cooper - Followed the continuous evolution


How the Sunshine Coast cable has opened the door to the digital future

Simon Cooper, Chief Operating Officer of NEXTDC

There was much anticipation and hubbub when the Sunshine Coast submarine cable landed two days before Christmas 2019.

The crowd on Maroochydore beach included regional innovators who are actively involved in the evolving cable ecosystem across South East Queensland.

What’s unique about the JGA-S Sunshine Coast project is the group of smaller, passionate independent players working together to facilitate supporting infrastructure to ensure not only the region, but all of Queensland, benefits from this opportunity.

Sharing their stories over the last six months has provided insights into how these players fit into this regional ecosystem and generated broader understanding about how an optic fibre submarine cable creates ongoing benefits such as jobs and innovation well beyond the traditional telco community.

As a result, the following additional successes have occurred since the Sunshine Coast cable was switched on in 2020:

The map below captures the innovation success stories visually, showing the interconnected pieces of the digital jigsaw puzzle fostered by the Sunshine Coast cable.

More exciting opportunities ahead for Queensland

Since moving to Brisbane nine years ago, Simon Cooper has followed the continuous evolution of the telecommunications industry in Queensland and the accompanying investment in high quality and reliable data centres.

He has also noticed that Australia, and particularly Queensland, is home to innovative entrepreneurs who are building individual network infrastructure to make a difference to their regional communities.

And he says the momentum is accelerating with more exciting opportunities to come, enabled by the direct international connectivity from the Sunshine Coast submarine cable.

“They (Sunshine Coast Council) have opened a door to the future – it’s now down to Queenslanders, enterprises, local and state governments to invest here and take that opportunity.”

Simon, who has extensive experience in the submarine cable and data centre industries, believes this new competitive environment will greatly benefit Queensland and create more choice, competition and opportunities for data flow.

“The excitement around the cable landing on the Sunshine Coast has made people stop, think and say: what can we do differently now?” he said.

“We look forward to being part of Queensland’s next stage of success. The digital infrastructure that submarine cables and data centres provide makes the future possible and it comes down to the people defining what they want and supporting each other to make it happen.”

In the video above, Simon talks more about how Sunshine Coast Council enabled its ‘grand plan’ by keeping its eye on the vision, and the role of local players to support this cable ecosystem.


Simon Cooper is Chief Operating Officer of NEXTDC, an ASX100 listed technology company enabling business transformation through innovative data centre solutions and connectivity services, operating the largest national network of Tier III and Tier IV facilities across five capital cities in Australia.

Simon’s journey began in 1994 as a submarine cable engineer, when he joined Cable and Wireless, an independent global telco in the United Kingdom, and spent four years travelling, designing, deploying and fixing cable systems around the world.

Since then, he has worked as a Director and Senior Vice President with Level 3 Communications and Tata Communications, respectively, deploying submarine cables into Asia and Africa before moving into the data centre industry and Brisbane, Australia in 2011.


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