Construction begins on high-speed internet cable


Construction has begun on the Hawaiki submarine cable system, which will link the United States to Australia and New Zealand.

The new trans-Pacific cable will use optical fibre technology to carry digital data, meaning New Zealand will soon have internet speeds that match those in the US.

Work is scheduled to be finished by mid-2018.

The 14,000km cable system will deliver more than 30 terabits per second (Tbps) of total capacity.

Currently New Zealand's average internet speed, per home connection, is 27 megabits per second (Mbps).

The co-developers of the project, Sir Eion Edgar and Remi Galasso, have joined forces with entrepreneur Malcolm Dick to fund and operate the multi-million dollar cable system.

"This is the beginning of a new era for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in terms of international connectivity," says Sir Eion. "We are excited to be at the forefront of this very significant infrastructure investment."

"The lack of an alternative cable system connecting Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. has long been a concern of mine, so I am delighted to be part of this project," says Mr Dick.

Construction begins on high-speed internet cable

The cable will be a privately-owned by Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP, which is headquartered in Auckland.

It is also carrier-neutral for the Pacific region, so won't be linked to any of our major telecommunication companies like Spark or Vodafone.

 "I am very aware of the need to provide competition by being independent of the incumbent operators. This increased level of competition and capacity should make data caps a thing of the past," says Mr Dick, who has built telecommunications businesses in both Australia and New Zealand.

He says the Hawaiki cable system will provide the "vital communication advancement" that the region needs.