Brendan Ritchie from DTS revisits the arguments for an against building a submarine cable linking New Zealand to the world. In How will a new international cable benefit NZ? Ritchie looks at capacity and concludes, at least from this point of view, there’s no pressing need for another cable.
SCC is frequently upgrading its capacity and at present only runs at 15% utilisation, so anyone who suggests that there is a capacity crisis in NZ is simply wrong. While data usage is increasing 30% per year in NZ, the SCC has the ability to upgrade supply substantially.
Total lit capacity on the Southern Cross system is now 3.6Tbps. I’m with Ritchie on this. We only use a fraction of capacity on The Southern Cross Cable Network. It is not the issue.
What concerns me is the single point of failure. Or as Southern Cross often points out, two points of failure. Two cables link New Zealand to the world. If one stops working — and that has happened in the past — Southern Cross can route traffic in the other direction.
That’s reassuring. Yet New Zealand’s entire economy hangs on one company and two lines. I’m not entirely comfortable with that level of risk. For me that is the compelling argument for a third or fourth link.