The submarine cable company that announced its intention to connect New Zealand and Australia to mainland United States via Hawaii in 2012 has today secured funding for the project.
Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP and TE SubCom said in a statement the contract for the Hawaiki submarine cable system has come into force and the construction phase can begin.
The cable is believed to cost about $400 million and could mean faster and cheaper access to the internet.
The Hawaiki submarine cable system is a 14,000 km cable system linking New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and the United States and could expand to several South Pacific islands.
Permitting and initial route planning began in June 2015 and the system will be completed by mid-2018, the statement said.
Sir Eion Edgar and Remi Galasso, the co-developers of the project, announced a long-term partnership with entrepreneur Malcolm Dick to fund and operate the multi-million dollar cable system.
Dick, who co-founded telecommunications company CallPlus, said the cable could make data caps on broadband contracts a thing of the past.
"The lack of an alternative cable system connecting Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. has long been a concern of mine, so I am delighted to be part of this project," he said.
"Having built telco businesses in both Australia and New Zealand in the past, I am very aware of the need to provide competition by being independent of the incumbent operators.
"This increased level of competition and capacity should make data caps a thing of the past."
Hawaiki will be a privately-owned and carrier-neutral cable for the Pacific region.
Galasso said he was delighted to move to the implementation phase of the project.
The cable will deliver more than 30 Tbps of capacity via TE SubCom's
C100U+ Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE) and will allow for optional connectivity to islands along the route utilizing TE SubCom's industry leading optical add/drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes.
"[TE SubCom] have demonstrated a full commitment to the project since the early stages of development and are a true partner of Hawaiki," Galasso said.
Sir Eion said: "We are excited to be at the forefront of this very significant infrastructure investment."
"The Hawaiki cable system will enhance international capacity for New Zealand and Australia directly to the U.S., providing them with a vital communication advancement that the region has been in need of for quite some time," said Aaron Stucki, president of TE SubCom.