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Spark, Telstra and Vodafone confirm plan to construct new trans-Tasman telecommunications cable starting early 2015
Posted on 18-Dec-2014 11:16. | Tags Filed under: News.

The three telecommunications companies planning to build a new 2,300km submarine cable between New Zealand and Australia have today confirmed their investment and a commencement of the project in early 2015.

Spark New Zealand, Vodafone and Telstra will invest approximately USD $70 million on the new Tasman Global Access (TGA) Cable, which will significantly improve New Zealand’s international broadband connectivity and resilience.

Designed with a capacity of at least 20 Terabits per second (Tbit/s), the new TGA system will offer low-latency connectivity across the Tasman Sea, between Raglan, in New Zealand, and Narrabeen, in Australia. The system will provide an alternative route for trans-Tasman traffic, significantly improving New Zealand's international connectivity, as well as strengthening links into fast-growing Asian mark

Both Spark New Zealand and Vodafone’s trans-Tasman internet traffic has grown from just 10 percent of total international traffic in 2000 to 40 percent today. Trans-Pacific traffic has declined from 90 percent of all traffic in 2000 to 60 percent today, illustrating further the shift.

With New Zealand’s international capacity requirements growing 60 percent year-on-year, the TGA Cable will support the future needs of consumers and the growth aspirations of New Zealand businesses.

Raglan, on New Zealand’s West Coast, has been selected as the New Zealand landing station for the TGA Cable, providing important route diversity to the existing Southern Cross and Tasman 2 cables connecting New Zealand. Oxford Falls, Sydney, is the Australian landing station, provided by Telstra.

Spark New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Moutter, and Vodafone Chief Executive, Russell Stanners, jointly commented on behalf of the consortium:

“The partnership is a great outcome for all of New Zealand. As well as strengthened links into fast-growing Asian markets, the TGA Cable will enable New Zealand to better leverage the five main international cable systems currently serving Australia, and deliver important redundancy for New Zealand.

“We are seeing increased data content being provided from Australia-based servers by global companies and being accessed by New Zealand internet users. 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.”

Australia enjoys good connectivity with Asia, which is achieving strong internet traffic growth in-line with global economic shifts.

The project will begin early in 2015. Alcatel-Lucent has been selected as the cable laying contractor after a competitive tender process, and the TGA Cable is expected to be built and providing data traffic by mid-2016.

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone account for more than 70 percent of the New Zealand broadband market.

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