An undersea cable that will strengthen ties for New Zealand into Asian markets is now in its final stages of construction.
The Tasman Global Access (TGA) undersea cable will also enhance connections with the five main international cable systems serving Australia.
Spark, Vodafone and Telstra are all investing in the project, with USD $70 million all up being spent to build the cable, significantly improving international broadband connectivity for Kiwis.
Last month, the specialised undersea cable ship ‘Ile de Re' completed the shore landing at Sydney's Narrabeen Beach, before starting the cable lay across the Tasman Sea.
The Ile de Re is currently working 500 nautical miles off the coast of Sydney.
Steve Rieger, wholesale director of Vodafone, says the final phase of the project will see the IIe de Re connect up the cable to the existing beach landing at Raglan.
“The beach landing at Raglan laid the cable in piping beneath the sand, and out 3km into the ocean, and the Ile de Re will connect up to that,” he explains.
“It's exciting to be getting close to seeing the cabling works finished,” says Rieger.
The cable has a total of 2,300km to run from Raglan in New Zealand, right through to Narrabeen Beach, north of Sydney in Australia.
Lindsay Cowley, general manager of Wholesale and International at Spark says the TGA cable could start carrying data as early as next year.
“The TGA cable project is currently on track to be completed, tested and ready for service by the end of January 2017,” he says.
“This is an exciting project that will meet the future international bandwidth requirements for New Zealand consumers and businesses alike, which are set to grow by 11,000% in the next 10 years,” adds Cowley.
Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (part of Nokia), owns the Ile de Re and is contracted by Spark, Vodafone and Telstra to carry out the TGA cable project.