Hawaiki, the Auckland company planning another international internet link out of New Zealand, has signed a deal with a US company to design, build and lay the submarine cable.

Hawaiki is planning to build a 14-000km cable system between New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and the US west coast and says that the project could be operating within two years.

The company announced yesterday evening it had signed a deal with US-based TE SubCom for it to design and lay the planned cable. TE SubCom will survey the proposed route for the cable and use this data to design and build the infrastructure in New Hampshire, Hawaiki said.

TE SubCom, who developed the world's first transatlantic fibre-optic cable in 1988, was the company Pacific Fibre engaged before it abandoned its cable project.


Pacific Fibre, which also planned to build a submarine cable between New Zealand, Australia and the United States, announced in August last year it had failed to raise the required funding for the build.

Hawaiki chief executive Rémi Galasso said yesterday that the deal with Te SubCom was a "major step forward" for the company and added "significant momentum" to the project.

"We are confident in our choice of supplier. TE SubCom brings both superior technology and operational experience, two key conditions to complete such an ambitious venture. Not only will SubCom supply a future-proof system, but the company's experience with local permitting practices will be critical during system deployment," Galasso said.