Hawaiki Submarine Cable has begun commercial operations for its 15,000 km fibre optic deep-sea cable linking Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and the United States.
The US$300 million ($444.5m) Hawaiki Submarine Cable System "is the fastest and largest cross-sectional capacity link between the US and Australia and New Zealand.
It will significantly enhance our connectivity to the rest of the world and, ultimately, improve the everyday lives of our communities," said Hawaiki chief executive Remi Galasso in a statement.
The cable, which has enough fibre to run more than twice around the equator, can transmit 43.8 terabits per second or 80,000 times the average satellite link.
According to Hawaiki, at that speed, you could download more than 8,500 high definition DVD per second or stream 1.7 million 4K TV streams simultaneously.
Anchor customers include Amazon Web Services, Vodafone, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority and Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand.
"For consumers and businesses hungry for more and more data it means faster, better internet, and fewer bottlenecks, particularly when data is streamed from overseas," said Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran.
The new cable also provides greater resilience by providing an additional physical data link to the rest of the world, as it takes a different route to existing cables.
Completion of the project is especially timely for South Pacific nations, which are seeing demand for capacity growing by 45 per cent year-on-year, said Galasso, noting it has been specifically designed to meet these expanding requirements.
Hawaiki has included several stubbed branching units to enable the future connection of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. American Samoa will be connected from day one, he said.
The cable is a "game changer" for the digital landscape in American Samoa, said Lolo M. Moliga, governor of American Samoa.
The construction of Hawaiki cable system, including the marine survey, design, manufacturing and cable laying, took 27 months and was undertaken by TE SubCom.