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Kiwi cable signs TE SubCom for build

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A proposed submarine cable for New Zealand has signed TE SubCom as its build contractor.

The Hawaiki Cable would link New Zealand to Australia and Hawaii, providing an alternative to the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), currently the Kiwis' only direct link to American destinations.

According to Computerworld New Zealand, Hawaiki Cable will have a design capacity of a maximum 10 Tbs on each fibre pair, running 100 Gbps per wavelength.

The company has capacity deals with New Zealand provider Orcon and Australia's TPG should the cable get built. Orcon intends to buy 40 Gbps of capacity on the network.

Hawaiki Cable's design path would allow it to run branches to Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Wallis and the Samoan nations.

Submarine builds out of New Zealand have had a troubled history in recent years. Pacific Fibre had proposed a route similar to Hawaiki Cable, but the project was abandoned because it was unable to raise the $NZ400 million needed for the build. Pacific Fibre had secured iiNet, Vodafone, CallPlus and Reannz as anchor customers.

The New Zealand government has said there's $NZ15 million available from Reannz for capacity purchases. However, as is noted by National Business Review, that money has “been offered by successive governments since 2005”.

Any new cable would have to compete with the Telecom New Zealand-Telstra-Vodafone cable that's due to enter service in 2015. ®

Correction: an earlier version of this story indicated that Hawaiki had an arrangement with planned Australian cable SubPartners. This was an error. ®

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