Research and Education Advanced Network NZ (REANNZ ) has selected Vodafone and Chorus to provide fibre backhaul services to connect its backbone national research and education network to the Hawaiki submarine cable landing station at Mangawhai Heads in Northland.
It says the backhaul contracts were awarded following an open tender process through GETS, the Government’s electronic tender service.
REANNZ said it would work with Vodafone, Chorus and Hawaiki to provide diverse connectivity back to the existing REANNZ network points of presence on the North Shore and in central Auckland to ensure resilience and security of supply and protect the network from being affected by a single adverse event.
REANNZ, on behalf of government, has a 25-year anchor tenancy contract for capacity on Hawaiki to link New Zealand to Australia, Hawaii and mainland USA. REANNZ will have initial bandwidth of 40Gbps on Hawaiki but says this will grow to more than 4Tbps over the course of the contract, signed in July 2014.
This represents a significant increase over the initial contracted capacity. REANNZ’s then CEO Steve Cotter said at the time “Capacity available on Hawaiki for REANNZ members will start at 20Gbps in 2016 and increase over time to multiple 100Gbps to match expected increases in demand from our members.”
REANNZ CEO Nicole Ferguson said the contracts with Vodafone and Chorus would enable REANNZ members to take advantage of the Hawaiki Cable, expected to be ready for service in June 2018 and would facilitate New Zealand’s participation in key projects such the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope and advanced climatic and genomic research.
Hawaiki is also well behind its initial schedule. When the REANNZ contract was announced Hawaiki was expected to be in service in early 2016. Construction started in November 2016, with an expected completion date of mid 2018.
The government contributed $15 million to purchase the tenancy REANNZ will meet the annual fees, worth $50 million over the 25-year contract, out of operational budgets.