The Herald reports:
A company hoping to build a US$350 million submarine internet cable out of New Zealand has lined up a listed Australian telco as a customer in a multi-million dollar deal.
TPG Telecom, an ASX-listed IT and internet company, has issued a letter of intent saying it plans to acquire fibre capacity on the Australia-United States leg of Hawaiki’s proposed cable system.
A statement issued by both parties last night, which called the agreement a “multi-million deal”, said TPG also intended to acquire capacity on the Sydney-New Zealand section of the international internet link.
Auckland-based Hawaiki Cable is planning to build a 14-000km cable system between New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and the US west coast and said last month that the project could be operating within two years.
According to plans aired last year, the main cable would also have branches running to Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Wallis, Samoa and American Samoa.
It will be great if their plans come off, and New Zealand gains a second cable to the US. I really like the plan to also link many Pacific countries into it as a fibre-optic cable would be hugely beneficial to their communications infrastructure.
There is also a cable planned between NZ and Australia by some of our large telcos, so in a few years we may have three major international cables. The hope is that the greater competition will lead to cheaper prices for data, and larger (or preferably no) data caps.