The ongoing efforts to build a new cable system between the west coast of the US and Australia/New Zealand by way of Hawaii and American Samoa has achieved a new milestone. Hawaiki and TE SubCom have issued a project update as they move into the next phase, the actual laying of the cable.
Manufacturing of the 14,000km of cable and 170 repeaters is has now been completed by TE SubCom at its New Hampshire facility. 6700km of cable has been shipped out to the Pacific and is being loaded onto CS Responder. CS Responder will then head for Australia, from lay cable first over to New Zealand and then up to American Samoa.
Meanwhile, the other 8,300km of cable was loaded onto CS Global Sentinel (shown above leaving New Hampshire) a few weeks ago and is already on the way to Oregon via the Panama Canal. After threading cable through the prepared bore pipe to the landing station, Sentinel will head out to bury the cable on the continental shelf and then proceed on to Hawaii and then American Samoa. The two ships should start actually laying cable by early October.
The work on land at both ends is also far along. Horizontal directional drilling for the CLS in both Oregon and Australia has been completed. The land duct routes for both Sydney and New Zealand are also in place already as well.
Hawaiki's expected ready-for-service date is June 2018, so there's plenty of work yet to do but it's all on schedule. When complete, it will have the highest cross-sectional capacity of any cable between the two regions. There aren’t very many of those of course, as this is one of the longest routes out there, nearly three times as long as a typical transatlantic cable and 50% longer than typical transpacific cables.