The end is in sight for the completion of the Tasman Global Access (TGA) undersea cable, which will improve internet connectivity for our comrades across the ditch in New Zealand.
Undersea cable ship ‘Ile de Re’ arrived in Auckland last week, a brief stopover before it began heading back out to the middle of the Tasman Sea to complete its mission of laying the TGA undersea cable.
Built in 1982, the 5,378 tonne, 142 metre long vessel specialises in this sort of work and has built or maintained more than 50,000 kilometres of submarine cable systems throughout the South Pacific during its career.
The ship is owned by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN); which is part of Nokia. ASN is the world’s only fully integrated provider of turnkey submarine network solutions.
The TGA cable is made up of two fibre pairs and will have a total capacity of 20 terabits per second (Tbps). 20 repeaters will be situated along the length of the cable to amplify the signal.
The cable will stretch 2,300km from Ngarunui Beach in Raglan, New Zealand to Narrabeen Beach in New South Wales
“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,” said Vodafone Wholesale Director Steve Rieger.
Telcos Spark, Vodafone and Telstra are ploughing approximately $100 million into the project, which is expected to be ready for service by the end of January next year.
The project will also enable New Zealand to enhance links to Asian markets and provide better connections with the five main international cable systems currently serving Australia
In other recent related news, Google announced it had partnered with Facebook and other communications companies to build the first direct ultra-high capacity submarine cable system between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
The 12,800 km of fiber will have an estimated cable capacity of 120 Tbps; six times more capacity than the TGA cable and enough for Hong Kong to have 80 million concurrent HD video conference calls with Los Angeles. The project will have the highest-capacity trans-Pacific route; a title currently held by FASTER, which Google also has a stake in.
There will be benefits for Australia from the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) project.
“PLCN will bring lower latency, more security and greater bandwidth to Google users in the APAC region,” said Brian Quigley, Director, Google Networking Infrastructure
Google anticipates the PLCN will be operational in 2018.