A Govt contribution towards an international cable

September 20th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Amy Adams has announced:

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams is calling for expressions of interest from companies who are considering building a new international telecommunications cable between New Zealand, Australia and the United States. 

“To ensure we have sufficient international capacity in the medium to long term, the Government is making a $15 million contribution available, and would commit to an anchor tenancy on a new cable for research and education purposes,” Ms Adams says.

This is the same commitment the Government made towards Pacific Fibre, and it is very good to see the Government make the same commitment to other companies who are seeking to build a second cable for us.

The commitment that REANZ would be an anchor tenant is probably more important than the contribution, even thought both are useful.

Some people want the Government to be directly involved in constructing a second cable, but my string preference is for the private sector to do it and I know that Hawaiki at least have a proposal out there. Their proposals includes having the cable connect a dozen or so Pacific Islands, which would be a great boost for them.

InternetNZ has commented:

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is delighted the Government is contributing $15 million and calling for expressions of interest for companies to build an international telecommunications cable between New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter said this was an excellent move by the Government to help New Zealand’s telecommunications industry.

“Like the Ultra Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives, we think this is a fantastic step towards ensuring New Zealand maintains our robust connectivity to the world.

We have sufficient capacity at the moment, and for the near future. But getting greater competition with international connectivity will be good for prices, and having supply meet demand.

Tags: ,

A new trans-tasman cable

February 19th, 2013 at 10:05 am by David Farrar

Telecom have announced:

Telecom, Vodafone and Telstra announced today they have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to co-invest in the construction of a new submarine cable between Auckland and Sydney.
The new cable, tentatively titled the Tasman Global Access (TGA) Cable, will significantly improve New Zealand’s international telecommunications connectivity as well as strengthen links into fast-growing Asian markets.

The total cost of the TGA cable is expected to be less than US$60 million. The cable will incorporate three fibre pairs with a current design capacity of 30 terabits per second – approximately 300 times the current internet data demand out of New Zealand.

30 terabits a second isn’t bad!

The TGA cable will achieve significant international connectivity benefits for New Zealand at a fraction of the build cost of another, much longer trans-Pacific cable, the consortium partners said.

It would be nice to have another trans-Pacific cable also, but this announcement is good news as it means more competition and more capacity. What is pleasing is that it is not just Telecom (who have the biggest stake of Southern Cross) but also Telstra and Vodafone.

Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter and Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners jointly commented: “The business case for a new cable between New Zealand and Australia is compelling, providing greater capacity and global redundancy capability. It also reflects the growing importance of trans-Tasman internet traffic: for example, around 40% of both Telecom and Vodafone’s international internet traffic is now Australia to New Zealand, versus just 10% in 2000.

“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.

I’ve blogged on this in the past. NZ will never be big enough to have global datacentres here, but if we can get the Googles and Apples of the world to do regional datacentres in Sydney, then we will pull more and more of our data from Australia rather than the United States.

Tags: , , , ,