Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


A trans-Pacific cable hurrah

Hawaiki's planned US$300 million submarine cable linking New Zealand, Australia and the United States looks more likely.

The Dominion-Post's Tom Pullar-Strecker reports the project will soon confirm equity partner funding from the Todd Corporation. He also reports Communications Minister Amy Adams telling Parliament the government is working with Hawaiki.

I asked Pullar-Strecker what odds he now puts on the project succeeding. He told me 'about 70 percent' and that he put the earlier Pacific Fibre project's chances at 50 percent.

This seems about right to me if the Todd Corporation confirms its involvement.

Supporters of a second trans-Pacific cable network to compete with the Southern Cross Cable Network offer many arguments. Some are better than others:


  • Capacity is barely an issue. Today we use only a fraction of Southern Cross's existing capacity. While demand continues to increase so does that network's ability to boost capacity. What's more the internet centre of gravity is shifting from the US to Asia. If anything future capacity constraints will be west of New Zealand, not to the east.

  • Improved latency. Pacific Fibre planned a direct cable which would offer reduced trans-Pacific ping times. It's not clear to me that Hawaiki's ping times would be shorter than those on Southern Cross. I'm also not convinced this is important for anyone other than gamers — most important cloud services have hosts closer to home and local caching eliminates latency problems for many other services. Latency is an issue for a minority.

  • Lower cost. This argument says Southern Cross has a monopoly and charges New Zealanders too much. There is something in this, but every time a competitor gets momentum Southern Cross sharpens its prices as it tries to see off the newcomer. Actually building a network, as opposed to planning one, will mean more competitive pressure and lower margins, but don't expect huge price drops when a rival network starts.

  • Security is the best argument of all. New Zealand's entire communications hangs by a single thread, well actually two physical cables, but a single cable operator. Given our entire economy depends on these links adding a third link means there's a smaller risk of everything falling over at once.

  • Newness. Southern Cross is now 14 years old. That means it's roughly halfway through its expected life. Although there's every chance it will last many more years, at some point we need to think about a replacement and that has to be in place long before the existing cable runs out of steam.

  • Technology. On a similar note, technology has marched on in the past 14 years. I've no idea if this means a new cable would be technically better — if you have knowledge on this please get in touch. And it's true that Southern Cross can continue to  update the kit on the ends of its cable. Nevertheless, I suspect engineers have learnt new useful things since that network was built.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Valerie Morse: Key And NZ Police At G20: What A Contribution

While 200 New Zealand police officers are helping to repress protests outside of the G20 in Brisbane this week, John Key has been inside pushing the interests of giant multinational corporations to fast track the World Trade Organization (WTO) ... More>>

ALSO:

Gabriela Coutiño: Ayotzinapa Caravan Meets With EZLN In Oventic

In their visit to Zapatista Territory, parents of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa Guerrero, agreed with the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), to articulate a national grassroots movement that would question forced disappearances ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Talk Of A Third Intifada: Where To From Here, Palestine?

When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. More>>

ALSO:

David Swanson: Who Says Ferguson Can't End Well

Just as a police officer in a heightened state of panic surrounded by the comfort of impunity will shoot an innocent person, the Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency preemptively, thus justifying violence in response to something ... More>>

Melanie Duval-Smith: Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

So, you are not allowed to feed the homeless on the streets of Florida. Last week, a 90 year old man and two Christian ministers were arrested for doing just that. I can hear the cries of the right wingers from here. “Not in our back yard”, ... More>>

John Chuckman: What We Truly Learned From the Great War and the Absurdity of Remembrance Day

No matter what high-blown claims the politicians make each year on Remembrance Day, The Great War was essentially a fight between two branches of a single royal family over the balance of power on the continent of Europe, British foreign policy holding ... More>>

Redress Information: A European Call To Suspend EU-Israel Association Agreement

More than 300 political parties, trade unions and campaign groups have called on the European Union to suspend its “association agreement” with Israel. The agreement, which came into force in 2000, facilitates largely unrestricted trade with Israel ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Age Of TV Jokers: Arab Media On The Brink

As I was finalizing my research for this article, I found myself browsing through a heap of hilarious videos by mostly Egyptian TV show hosts Tawfiq Okasha and Amr Adeeb. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news