Work is well under way in Raglan on the US$70 million (NZ$103m) Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable project, a joint venture by Vodafone, Spark New Zealand and Telstra.
The trans-Tasman submarine telecommunications cable between Sydney and Auckland, which will come ashore on Raglan’s Ngarunui Beach, will significantly improve New Zealand’s international broadband connectivity and resilience, say the telecommunication companies.
A TGA cable landing station, which will house equipment associated with the cable to be hauled ashore at the south end of the beach, is currently being built at 331A Wainui Rd, on top of the hill opposite Wainui Reserve.
The building is made up of three levels, but only the top level will be visible to the public, said Vodafone community relations manager Caitlin Metz. The site would be planted out in natives, in a similar style to the reserve.
Last week work was being done to replace the existing beach manhole buried near the surf patrol tower.
Four giant concrete slabs were used to hold back the sand while the new manhole was positioned, and had since been removed, said Metz.
New cable ducting is currently being drilled between Ngarunui Beach and the cable landing station.
The existing Aqualink cable, which was put in by Telstra-Saturn in 2001, and the new TGA cable will pass through the new manhole, along the new ducting and to the station.
Metz said the new cable was expected to arrive in New Zealand waters in March and would be hauled ashore later that month and buried, weather allowing.
A specialised cable-laying ship would be visible offshore during this time.
The TGA cable is expected to be built and providing data traffic by July.