$300m Hawaiki subsea cable goes live

20 July 2018 | James Pearce


The Hawaiki Submarine Cable System, which links Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands and the United States, is now ready-for-service.

2018 03 29 - Hawaiki Cable Map

The $300 million cable system, which has been developed and will be owned by Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP, offers 43 terabits of additional capacity between Australia and the US, making it the largest capacity cable linking the two countries.

It runs for 15,000km, with connecting  connects Sydney - Australia, Mangawhai Heads - New Zealand, Tafuna - American Samoa, Kapolei - Hawaii, USA, and Pacific City - Oregon, USA. 

A number of anchor customers have already signed on, Hawaiki said. These include the likes of Vodafone, New Zealand, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Research and Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ), and American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA).

REANNZ, for example, has agreed to a 25-year anchor tenancy on behalf of the New Zealand government. REANNZ CEO Nicole Fergusson said: ““REANNZ and Hawaiki share a goal of increasing access to research and educational opportunities - for them in the Pacific and for us connecting researchers, educators and innovators, nationally and globally.”


Hawaiki Sydney
TE SubCom ship laying Hawaiki cable in Sydney
Hawaiki has included several stubbed branching units to enable the future connection of several Pacific islands including New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. Demand for capacity on the South Pacific islands has been growing on average by 45% year-on-year. 


Another island, America Samoa, will be connected from launch. Lolo M. Moliga, governor of the island, said: ““Our connection to the Hawaiki cable has profound social and economic implications. It is a game changer for the digital landscape in American Samoa.

“We are already receiving and reviewing proposals from companies locally and from off island for the establishment of business activities dependent on reliable, affordable, and high-speed internet connectivity. We are also in a perfect position to propose state-of-the-art connectivity, including a direct link to the US West coast, to our neighbouring countries throughout the Pacific Islands region.”

TE Subcom, which constructed and installed the subsea cable system, completed the final splice in May. It was selected as construction partner in 2013 and began production in 2016. Hawaiki uses TE SubCom’s optical add/drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes which allow for the additional landings in the Pacific region.

Sanjay Chowbey, President, TE SubCom said, “The Hawaiki Cable System is a great endeavor, achieved by a culmination of extraordinary effort and strong relationships. TE SubCom is pleased to play an important role in the success of this system which will add value to local economies and communities.”

TE SubCom will also be tasked with overseeing repair of the cable system for the next 25 years, with two maintenance vessels, one based in Vancouver and the other in Noumea, set to repair it

The cable has three fibre pairs: Two between Sydney and the US, and one from New Zealand to the US. It is privately owned, with backing from New Zealand businessman Sir Eion Edgar, and Malcolm Dick, who helped to co-found New Zealand telecoms operator Slingshot.

“This 25-year transoceanic infrastructure opens the door for unprecedented levels of economic, social and research collaboration right across the Pacific,” said Hawaiki Chief Executive Officer, Remi Galasso. “Hawaiki is the fastest and largest cross-sectional capacity link between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand. It will significantly enhance our connectivity to the rest of the world and, ultimately, improve the everyday life of our communities.

“We are very grateful to all of our partners, including our customers, suppliers and financiers, who have been supporting us since the creation of the company,” Galasso concluded. “My partners, Sir Eion Edgar, Malcolm Dick, Greg Tomlinson, and I would like to express our deep gratitude and respect to Hawaiki’s employees, whose dedication, commitment and fighting-spirit made this idea a reality.”