A/NZ telcos to build $86.3 million trans-Tasman submarine cable

Alcatel-Lucent tapped to lay cable for 20Tbps undersea system

A 2300 kilometre undersea cable system connecting Australia and New Zealand across the Tasman Sea will commence construction in early 2015.

A consortium of Telstra, Vodafone and Spark New Zealand Cables (formerly Telecom NZ) will invest about $86.3 million in the Tasman Global Access (TGA) system. The group has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to lay the submarine cable.

The TGA cable is expected to be finished by mid-2016, the consortium said.

The undersea cable utilises two fibre pairs with 20 Tbps capacity and will connect Narrabeen, Australia to Raglan, NZ. It provides an alternative route for trans-Tasman traffic to the existing Southern Cross and Tasman 2 cables, enhancing New Zealand’s international connectivity and strengthening links into Asia, Alcatel-Lucent said.

The building of a new cable responds to growth in international traffic. Spark and Vodafone’s trans-Tasman Internet traffic has grown from 10 per cent of total international traffic in 2000 to 40 per cent today, the consortium said. New Zealand’s international capacity requirements are increasing at a rate of 60 percent year-on-year, it said.

“We are seeing increased data content being provided from Australia-based servers by global companies and being accessed by New Zealand internet users,” Spark managing director, Sim Moutter and Vodafone NZ CEO Russell Stanners said in a joint statement.

“An additional cable connection with Australia will strengthen the business case for international data servers to be located in New Zealand, and improve access for Australian and other international businesses to New Zealand.”

Sean O’Halloran, president of Alcatel-Lucent Oceania, said, “This is a great new project that will strengthen trans-Tasman and global network connectivity that is now so necessary for every Australian or New Zealand business and individual, including for the emerging cloud services market."

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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Tags New Zealandinfrastructuretrans-Tasmanundersea cableinternationalinternetSpark NZTelstrasubmarine cablealcatel-lucentcapacityVodafoneAustralia

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