NZ boost as trans-Pacific cable seals multi-million dollar capacity deal

Crown-owned company REANNZ and Hawaiki Cable have agreed a multi-million dollar deal to provide REANNZ with capacity on the new Hawaiki submarine cable linking New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

The eight-figure deal will be funded by REANNZ and a NZ$15 million Crown grant to support the creation of a new submarine cable.

Steve Cotter, CEO of REANNZ, which operates New Zealand’s high-performance broadband network for research, education and innovation, says the new cable will create a vital new global link for New Zealand’s Internet users while also benefiting New Zealand’s research and education communities.

“REANNZ believes that science and research should be unconstrained by network capacity or geography – by the location of instruments, data or people,” he says.

“The high capacity link offered by Hawaiki will enable New Zealand researchers in data-intensive areas like genomics, radio astronomy and climate science to share data, access resources and collaborate effectively with their peers internationally.”

“Capacity available on Hawaiki for REANNZ members will start at 20Gb/s in 2016 and increase over time to multiple 100Gb/s to match expected increases in demand from our members, driven both by the rapidly increasing data needs of big science and by the year-on-year increases in data use by students and staff.”

Cotter says the contract with Hawaiki provided secure long-term capacity at a very competitive rate.

“Hawaiki has demonstrated a unique flexibility to satisfy our requirements and developed a future-proof solution for REANNZ,” he adds.

Hawaiki’s 25 terabit-per-second cable will run between Whangarei, Sydney, and Oregon in the United States, and connect several Pacific islands en route.

US company TE SubCom is contracted to lay the 13,127-kilometre cable network, expected to be commissioned early 2016.

Hawaiki CEO Remi Galasso adds the contract with REANNZ demonstrated the government’s commitment to provide New Zealanders with state-of-the-art infrastructure, and addressed long-standing market demand for a second international cable.

“Research, education and innovation are the seeds of New Zealand’s future economic growth,” he says.

“These communities require competitive solutions to support ambitious projects.”

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