Independent telecommunications challenger, Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP today commenced commercial operations for its 15,000 km fibre optic deep-sea cable linking Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and United States.
The $US300 million Hawaiki Submarine Cable System represents a new dawn for digital communications in the region, delivering 43 terabits of additional capacity - several times the current levels of Australia and New Zealand combined - on a fully diverse subsea route.
“This 25-year transoceanic infrastructure opens the door for unprecedented levels of economic, social and research collaboration right across the Pacific,” said Hawaiki Chief Executive Officer, Remi Galasso.
“Hawaiki is the fastest and largest cross-sectional capacity link between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand. It will significantly enhance our connectivity to the rest of the world and, ultimately, improve the everyday lives of our communities.”
Since its inception, the project has attracted strong support from government and industry with anchor customers including Amazon Web Services, Vodafone, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) and Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ).
Completion of the project is especially timely for South Pacific nations, which are seeing demand for capacity growing by 45% year-on-year. Hawaiki has been specifically-designed to meet these expanding requirements, providing infrastructure to support critical applications such as business-grade cloud services, real-time content delivery and ultra-low latency networks.
New Zealand’s leading university and research collaboration body, REANNZ has secured a 25-year anchor tenancy on behalf of the NZ Government, providing a major boon for the organisation as it seeks greater collaboration in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges.
“REANNZ and Hawaiki share a goal of increasing access to research and educational opportunities - for them in the Pacific and for us connecting researchers, educators and innovators, nationally and globally,” said REANNZ CEO Nicole Fergusson, adding that this new high-speed, high-performance connectivity removes the “tyranny of distance” allowing for the easy transfer of data-intensive research anywhere in the world.
Hawaiki also provides more security to the market through new and diverse paths on both trans-Tasman and trans-Pacific links. This enables its customers to build fully-redundant networks, including multiple routes, as well as an array of always-on services.
Vodafone’s Chief Executive Russell Stanners said, “We wish to congratulate the team at Hawaiki for their immense effort and persistence in getting to this stage. As an anchor tenant of the Hawaiki cable system, Vodafone can now offer our customers triversity across the international cable systems that connect New Zealand to the world. In addition to greater levels of resiliency, the Hawaiki cable system brings greater competition to the New Zealand market, meaning we now have more choice and flexibility when it comes to designing connectivity solutions that meet the diverse needs of New Zealand consumers and businesses alike.”
Hawaiki has included several stubbed branching units to enable the future connection of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. American Samoa will be connected from day one, after celebrating the cable’s final landing in April this year.
“Our connection to the Hawaiki cable has profound social and economic implications. It is a game changer for the digital landscape in American Samoa. The development of e-health and e-learning opportunities are now actionable items, which will overwhelmingly supply educational options and substantially improve the quality of healthcare services delivered to the people of American Samoa as we now have the required capacity to deliver true broadband access to all members of our community. We are already receiving and reviewing proposals from companies locally and from off-island for the establishment of business activities dependent on reliable, affordable, and high-speed internet connectivity. We are also in a perfect position to propose state-of-the-art connectivity, including a direct link to the US West coast, to our neighboring countries throughout the Pacific Islands region,” said Lolo M. Moliga, Governor of American Samoa.
The construction of Hawaiki cable system, including the marine survey, design, manufacturing and cable laying, took 27 months and was undertaken by world leading supplier TE SubCom.
Sanjay Chowbey, President, TE SubCom said, “The Hawaiki Cable System is a great endeavor, achieved by a culmination of extraordinary effort and strong relationships. TE SubCom is pleased to play an important role in the success of this system which will add value to local economies and communities.”
“We are very grateful to all of our partners, including our customers, suppliers and financiers, who have been supporting us since the creation of the company,” Galasso concluded. “My partners, Sir Eion Edgar, Malcolm Dick, Greg Tomlinson, and I would like to express our deep gratitude and respect to Hawaiki’s employees, whose dedication, commitment and fighting-spirit made this idea a reality”, concluded Remi Galasso.