Progress on major Transpacific cable welcomed

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran says the new Hawaiki Transpacific cable system should be up and running by mid-year, improving and enhancing New Zealand’s international connectivity.

“International connectivity is so important to our digital future. This cable will provide significantly more capacity for international data traffic, ensuring our growing domestic demands for data are supported,” says Ms Curran.

“For Kiwis it means faster, better internet, particularly when content is being streamed from overseas. And it gives New Zealand businesses and researchers who rely on having connections with the rest of the world free reign to pursue new opportunities.

“It will also increase competition in our international cable market, as New Zealand’s first and only carrier-neutral cable.”

It joins New Zealand’s two other cable systems – Southern Cross and Tasman Global Access – in carrying the majority of internet traffic to and from New Zealand.

“The Hawaiki cable will also improve our resilience in a disaster by giving us an additional physical data link to the rest of the world, a new landing point here and by taking a different under-sea route than our other existing cables,” Ms Curran says.

“It will also be a huge benefit to our Pacific neighbours. Spurs off the main cable will go to four Pacific countries giving them access to reliable, fast data for medical and research purposes.

“I’d like to congratulate the owners of the Hawaiki cable for reaching this significant milestone, and thank them for this significant investment in New Zealand’s digital future,” says Ms Curran.

The Government supported the Hawaiki cable through an initial contribution of $15 million as part of a tenancy contract between REANNZ and Hawaiki.

Operations for the New Zealand leg of the Hawaiki Transpacific Cable system will start later this month, with the cable expected to be up and running by June 2018.

The Hawaiki Cable is a 15,000 kilometre undersea fibre-optic cable that links New Zealand and Australia to Hawaii and mainland United States.

The cable is expected to be the fastest communications link between Australasia and the United States, and provide more than 43 Terabits of new capacity. This is around seven times the current capacity of the Southern Cross cable system.