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The Submarine Fiber Cable is Loading onto the Ships PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 07:12

The first 7000 kilometers of a new internet cable that will connect New Zealand to the United States is being loaded by hand onto giant spools on a ship in New Hampshire.

Remi Galasso, chief executive of Auckland-based Hawaiki Cable, said the start of marine operations for the $500 million cable was a "major milestone".

The Hawaiki cable will connect New Zealand and Australia to the US, via Hawaii, breaking Southern Cross Cable's 17 year-old monopoly on the near-direct US-New Zealand route. Galasso said manufacturing of the entire cable was now complete, and he was hopeful the cable might be in service ahead of schedule, possibly prior to June next year.

US contractor TE SubCom, which is providing some of the financing for the cable, began loading the first portion on to a massive spool on a cable-laying ship on Wednesday. Loading is due to be complete early next month and then the ship will set sail for Sydney to begin laying the section between Sydney and New Zealand to close to Hawaii.

Galasso said the loading of the cable would take about a month because it had to be done manually. "There is no machine to do it." 

A second cable ship will be loaded in August, to lay the section from Oregon, with the two sections due to be connected by March next year. "We are happy to be on time and on budget," Galasso said.

Galasso said the market for internet capacity was booming, especially in Australia where lots of data centers were being built. "The market needs more cable – this has been our message from 'day one'."