Fault delays TGA cable completion by two months

Fault delays TGA cable completion by two months

Construction of a new cable from Australia to New Zealand has resumed but is running two months behind schedule after mechanical faults.

The Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable, from Sydney to Auckland, was due to be in service this month but is not likely to be complete until March, according to reports from New Zealand.

TGA, funded to the tune of $100 million by Telstra, Vodafone and Spark, the former Telecom New Zealand, was due to be the first international subsea cable connecting New Zealand for nearly 20 years, when the Southern Cross Cable was built.

Nokia’s Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) is laying the cable using its Île de Ré ship. But the ship’s plough suffered damage in December and it had to return to dock for repairs. Cable-laying has resumed but is behind schedule. 

“The cable laying is continuing and depending on weather conditions it is expected to be completed, tested and ready for service around the end of March,” Vodafone New Zealand official Andrea Brady told New Zealand media.

TGA has two fibre pairs and is designed for a total capacity of 20Tbps. Construction of a further cable,the 42Tbps Hawaiki, connecting Australia and New Zealand to the US West Coast, started in November 2016. 

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