A $100 million project to lay a new state-of-the-art fibre optic cable between New Zealand and Australia is about to enter its final stage.

When completed the Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable will span 2400 kms between Raglan and Sydney strengthening links into the fast-growing Asian markets and providing
the capacity to handle an explosion in broadband connectivity.

The project is already half complete with cable laid between Sydney and the Lord Howard Rise in the middle of the Tasman Sea as well as a 3 km stretch of cable out to sea from Raglan.

The final stage of the operation will begin in the next few days when the specialised cable laying ship Ile de Re leaves Auckland with the last 1000 kms of cable on board.


Spark, Vodafone and Telstra are the joint owners of the cable which will be capable of handling 20 terabits of data per second.

"That's enough capacity to handle two million high-definition TVs all watching a different channel at the same time," said Vodafone Technology Director Tony Baird.

"We're putting through wavelengths of light and you can add more and more wavelengths and more and more capacity. This cable has scalability well beyond where we are today."

The project is due to completed in December with the consortium of internet providers, and internet users, taking control in January.