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Hawaiki cable rollout completes

The Hawaiki subsea cable connecting Australia, New Zealand, and the US has completed its final landing in American Samoa ahead of going live in June.

The $350 million Hawaiki Transpacific Submarine Cable System has completed its final landing in American Samoa, with the United States territory to gain access to 200Gb of additional capacity from the cable.

The final splice will be completed ahead of the 15,000km subsea cable, connecting Australia and New Zealand to Hawaii and the West Coast of the US, going live in June.

"With Hawaiki's Transpacific Cable Network, Pacific Nations will soon have more than enough capacity to comfortably support crucial services such as e-health and e-learning that will have a significant and immediate impact on the many diverse economies and communities throughout the region," Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP CEO Rémi Galasso said.

Hawaiki had announced reaching the halfway point in its rollout across the Pacific Ocean in January, with the company also being granted a US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licence in December.

The US domestic segment between Oregon and Hawaii had been completed during the final quarter of 2017. Hawaiki then began laying the international portion of its subsea cable in November.

"The system includes some branching units as well for the islands -- American Samoa is already in, and we expect a few more coming in the next few months," Galasso told media at the time.

"We have included in the system a branching unit for Fiji, another one for Tonga, and another one for the French territory of New Caledonia."

American Samoa will be the cable's hub for the Polynesian region, he said, with the company remaining positive that it will bring broadband pricing down in the region. There will be three fibre pairs: Two between Sydney and the US, and one from New Zealand to the US.

Two maintenance vessels, one based in Noumea and the other in Vancouver, are set to repair the system over the next 25 years, with the lifespan of the cable system guaranteed by TE SubCom.

Construction commenced on the Hawaiki subsea cable in April 2016, three years after first being announced. It has a design capacity of 43.8Tbps and makes use of TE SubCom's C100U+ Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE).

The cable is privately owned, having been co-developed by Sir Eion Edgar, a New Zealand businessman whose company provided "substantial" investment for the cable in July 2015, and Galasso. Also providing funding was Malcolm Dick, the co-founder of New Zealand's third-largest telco Slingshot.

Telecommunications carriers and consortiums have been racing to build out subsea cable capacity across the Asia-Pacific region, driven by the rapid increase in data usage globally. These cables include the Australian government's Solomon Islands-Papua New Guinea cable being built by Vocus; Vocus' Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC) and North West Cable System (NWCS); Indigo; Trident; Southern Cross Cable Network's NEXT cable; the Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG); the FASTER cable; the Jupiter subsea cable being built by a consortium including Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, NTT Com, PLDT, and PCCW; Superloop's Hong Kong cable; Telstra's Hong Kong Americas (HKA) and the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN); and Google's Japan-Guam-Australia (JGA) cable system.

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