Telcos issue tender for trans-Tasman cable construction

Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand, and Telstra have put out a tender for the construction of a new subsea cable connecting Sydney and Auckland.

Telecom New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand, and Telstra have moved ahead with plans to construct a new subsea cable connecting Australia and New Zealand, issuing a tender out to construction companies.

Image: Telecom NZ

The telcos announced in February that they had signed a memorandum of understanding to construct the cable, which is expected to cost less than AU$60 million to build, and will be in place by mid to late 2014.

The 2,300km Tasman Global Access (TGA) undersea cable will include three fibre pairs with a design capacity of 30 terabits per second, which is approximately 300 times the current internet data demand out of New Zealand.

Telecom New Zealand confirmed earlier this week that several international submarine cable contractors were invited to tender, with all indicating a strong interest in participating. The company said that a decision will be made in the next few months, with construction commencing in 2014.

The companies are currently assessing two landing sites on the North Island's west coast for the New Zealand landing point, while several sites in northern and southern Sydney are being considered for the Australian landing point.