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Pit stop in Auckland for undersea cable ship en route to Tasman Sea

21 Oct 2016

Within one day, the long awaited Ile de Re has both arrived and departed Auckland’s shores.

En route to the middle of the Tasman Sea, the specialised undersea cable ship will continue laying the final section of the Tasman Global Access (TGA) undersea cable.

Spark, Vodafone and Telstra are investing approximately $100 million to build the TGA cable – which will stretch 2300km from Ngarunui Beach in Raglan, to Narrabeen Beach in Australia.

Once completed, the TGA cable will significantly improve New Zealand’s international broadband connectivity.

Steve Rieger, wholesale director for Vodafone, says it was a rare occurrence to see the ship in Auckland waters.

“The Ile De Re is responsible for building or maintaining more than 50,000km of submarine cable systems throughout the South Pacific - it is a very impressive vessel that is capable of some remarkable feats of engineering,” he says.

“Upon completion, the TGA will deliver significant benefits to New Zealand – so it’s exciting to take a closer look at the vessel to understand how these crucial international connections are made possible.”

Lindsay Cowley, general manager of Wholesale and International at Spark says the TGA cable project is currently on track to be completed, tested and ready for service by the end of January 2017.

“This is an exciting project that will meet the future international bandwidth requirements for New Zealand consumers and businesses alike - which are set to grow by 11,000% in the next 10 years,” he says.

The cable is comprised of two fibre pairs, and will have a total capacity of 20 terabits per second.

The Ile de Re is the property of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (part of Nokia), which is the company contracted by Spark, Vodafone and Telstra to carry out the TGA cable project.

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