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Work starts on fast Internet cable linking New Zealand to world

Staff Writer |
Construction of Australasia's fastest international Internet cable began in New Zealand's North Island Wednesday.

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The New Zealand government holds an anchor tenancy contract in the 14,000-kilometer Hawaiki cable, which will link New Zealand and Sydney to mainland United States.

"New Zealand's demand for data is ever-increasing, and international connectivity is critical for our economy, particularly due to our geographical isolation," Communications Minister Amy Adams said.

The Hawaiki cable would increase connectivity for New Zealanders and contribute to the growth of the digital economy through faster Internet speeds.

It would offer more than 30 terabits per second - five times the current capacity - to accommodate the escalating trend of household consumption.

Figures from cable company Chorus show the amount of data consumed by households on the Chorus network had grown almost 170 percent to more than 120 gigabytes a month on average since the start of 2015.

"Once complete, the Hawaiki cable will also add an extra layer of resilience and security in the event of a natural disaster," Adams added.

Once the cable completed around mid-2018, New Zealand would have four physical data links to the rest of the world.

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