Commonwealth Pacific Cable System

The ship is the C.S. Retriever, which is laying an undersea telephone cable system connecting Australia, NZ, Fiji, Hawaii and Canada.

The Commonwealth Pacific Cable System (COMPAC) was an undersea telephone cable system linking Canada, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. At a cost of $100 million, the link contained 11,000 miles of telephone cable, which provided 80 two-way speech channels or 1,760 teleprinter circuits. The Overseas Telecommunications room still exists under Queen Elizabeth Drive between 2nd and 3rd ramps. It was originally staffed by people who would relay information using morse code.

The cable has existed in different forms for over 100 years and it has been upgraded a number of times. The room was known as the Cable House and was originally operated by the Australasia and China Telegraph Company. In 1911 the cable room was under a band rotunda in the park at Sth Bondi. Every now and then the cable is exposed when the beach is eroded by big seas.

In 1911 the cable room was under a band rotunda in the park at Sth Bondi.

4 thoughts on “Commonwealth Pacific Cable System

  1. Can you please tell me when the Rotunda was demolished? I was born in Bondi in 1930 and find these stories bring back wonderful memories. Pat McCann

  2. Hi I just left the following message but with an incorrect e-mail address.
    Here it is again:
    I recorded the opening of the COMPAC cable in 1963 and can let you have a copy if you are interested.
    My correct e-mail is criross@telstra.com
    I also recorded the opening of the SECOM cable in 1967
    Regards
    Chris Ross

    • Hi Chris! I have tried emailing but can’t get through.

      That would be great, thanks! Are they on a disk? My postal address is:

      Dan Webber
      Parcel Collect 10132 34086
      Shop 10 38-44 Links Avenue
      East Ballina NSW 2478

      Much appreciated!

      Regards,

      Dan Webber
      0402932736

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s