Government stumps up $15 million for cable builders

Government stumps up $15 million for cable builders

The government is calling on companies to express their interest in building a new telecommunications cable between New Zealand, the US and Australia.

It will contribute $15 million to the build and commit to anchor tenancy on the cable, it says in a statement. “In order to take part in global research projects, our research and education communities need dedicated capacity that can handle huge data volumes, and provide high levels of reliability," says communications and IT minister Amy Adams.

“International, collaborative projects are characterised by intermittent, high-throughput, multi-terabit data flows that may last for days. Building a new cable will further increase the resilience of New Zealand’s international telecommunications links and also introduce more competition on the route, as well as providing additional capacity.”

The existing Southern Cross cable is expected to meet New Zealand's requirements until 2020, the government says. Hawaiiki Cable is planning a cable to boost connectivity between Australia, the US and New Zealand, as well as between both sides of the Tasman and the Pacific Islands to New Zealand, Australia and the US.

Pacific Fibre, chaired by tech entrepreneur Sam Morgan and co-founded by Xero CEO Rod Drury, had earlier planned a cable across the Pacific but couldn't raise enough investment.

Last year internet mogul Kim Dotcom said he wanted to reinvigorate Pacific Fibre's plans.