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InternetNZ welcomes Trans-Tasman cable announcement

InternetNZ welcomes Trans-Tasman cable announcement

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) welcomes today’s announcement from Telecom, Vodafone and Telstra Global that they will team up to construct a new submarine cable between Auckland and Sydney.

InternetNZ spokesperson Susan Chalmers says it is essential that New Zealand has a diverse range of international telecommunications links.

“Our main link to the global Internet is via the Southern Cross Cable. An additional cable will not only help reduce reliance on the Southern Cross, but ensure the robustness of our connectivity to the rest of the world.”

While New Zealand will benefit from having a more resilient connection to the global Internet, InternetNZ would be wary to expect any breakthroughs in the price of international transit.

“InternetNZ would have preferred an independent consortium because the new ’TGA’ cable will be part-owned by Telecom, who already owns large interests in the Southern Cross cable. The environment will not be one that naturally encourages competitive pricing.”

Chalmers says the announcement does raise a number of questions, not least of which relate to potential regulatory oversight.

“The location of the new cable company will be important. The headquarters of the Southern Cross Cable is in Bermuda, which handily avoids Commerce Commission oversight. InternetNZ strongly suggests that this new company be located in New Zealand.

She also points to the fact that many global sources of Internet content are diversifying from the US to Australia and Asia.

“An additional cable to Australia will assist in the efficient delivery of this content to New Zealand. For example, last year cloud computing player and retail behemoth Amazon built a Content Delivery Network (CDN) node in Sydney, bringing their content closer to New Zealanders. The shape of the Internet is changing, with content coming closer to end-users in New Zealand. This means faster delivery.”

InternetNZ looks forward to seeing more details as Telecom, Vodafone and Telstra progress and evolve their plans.

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