New Zealand is poised for a step-change in international connectivity following today's announcement that the new Tasman Global Access cable is up and running.
The new US$70 million cable provides an alternative to the trans-Tasman section of the Southern Cross Cable, the main international cable to and from New Zealand.
The TGA cable provides greater capacity, particularly in the face of increasing demand due to the roll-out of Ultrafast Broadband. It also reduces risk and boosts competition in the cable market.
New Zealand’s international capacity requirements are growing 60 per cent year-on-year, according to Spark, a projected 11,000 per cent growth over 10 years.
“Given New Zealand’s geographic isolation, international connectivity is crucial for growing our economy and for helping us capitalise on opportunities,” communications minister Simon Bridges said today.
“This cable is another step towards ensuring we’ve got affordable and robust connections with the rest of the world. It also ensures that domestic demands for data are supported by international capacity, setting us up for the future.”
The TGA cable is owned by Spark, Vodafone and Telstra, while the existing Southern Cross Cable is owned by Spark, Sintel/Optus and Verizon.
The 2300km TGA cable was originally scheduled to be ready for service in January. It is comprised of two fibre pairs and will have a total capacity of 20 terabits per second.
The cable was laid by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), now part of Nokia, between Ngarunui Beach at Raglan and Narrabeen Beach in Australia.
A third major cable, the Hawaiki cable, is due to be completed next year.