New Zealand’s infamously slow internet is set to speed up with the announcement of plans to roll out a new trans-Tasman cable. Spark, Vodafone and Telstra have agreed to fund a Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable that will be laid out in 2015 and switched on mid-2016. The project is budgeted to cost around $US 70 million.
Laying out a second internet cable will benefit both individual consumers and the New Zealand economy. The TGA will have the capacity to transmit 20 terabits per second, around 200 times the capacity of present trans-Tasman internet traffic. A second cable should also increase competition, reducing the cost of internet for individual consumers.
It is convenient that another internet cable linking New Zealand and Australia comes at a time when trans-Tasman internet traffic is increasing. In 2001, internet traffic between New Zealand and Australia accounted for 10% of New Zealand’s international internet traffic. Today, trans-Tasman traffic accounts for around 40%, and this percentage is expected to grow further with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft expanding Australian data centres.
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