Spark says the Tasman Global Access cable will be ready for service by the end of January 2017.
The 2,300km trans-Tasman cable linking New Zealand and Australia is a joint project between Spark NZ and Vodafone with a minority investment from Telstra.
When complete, the TGA will add capacity to the Southern Cross Cable Network which already links New Zealand to Australia and to the USA.
While there is plenty of headroom on the Southern Cross Cable, an extra link will give New Zealand a much-needed back-up. It reduces dependency on a single network operator and increases the number of international links from two to three.
TGA is also important because the internet centre of gravity is moving from the USA to Asia. The TGA will link New Zealand to Australia’s east coast and from there, traffic can connect to the five cables connecting Australia to Asia.
The TGA cable is made from two fibre pairs. It will have a total capacity of 20 terabits per second. This is about three times as much capacity as the Southern Cross provides at the moment, although it can match the TGA capacity with upgrades.