As a follow-up to Questioning Rod Drury’s Pacific Fibre reboot, I had a message from Andrew Pirie who is Telecom general manager of corporate relations.
He says the Tasman Global Access team calculates the average latency for traffic from New Zealand to the USA via Australia is around 83 milliseconds compared with an average time of 61 milliseconds for traffic travelling directly across the Pacific.
He goes on to say:
Their assessment is that the difference in latency (i.e. data transmission time) is negligible and is unlikely to impact key Internet applications such as video streaming.
I’m no expert on latency – which is the delay experienced in a network – but I suspect while it won’t matter for voice or video, that extra 22 ms will matter for some cloud applications. The good news is that service providers are likely to host key cloud applications in Sydney anyway.
Pirie also reports the Tasman Global Access project is “nicely on track”. The $70 million project is a joint venture between Telecom NZ, Vodafone and Telstra to build a cable from Auckland to Sydney. The cable is due to be completed by late 2014.
Tasman Global Access is controversial in some quarters because it tightens Telecom NZ’s hold on submarine cable links to the outside world. The company is also half owner of the Southern Cross Cable network. The new trans-Tasman cable undermines the business case for a trans-Pacific cable linking Australia to the USA via New Zealand.