Vocus and Google are extending a US-to-Australia subsea cable to New Zealand.

Australian telco Vocus this week announced it has signed an agreement with Google to extend the Honomoana cable to include New Zealand.

Honomoana cable Vocus
– Vocus

Plans to deploy two subsea cables connecting the US, Fiji, French Polynesia, and Australia were announced in October last year as part of the Pacific Connect initiative.

The Honomoana cable - derived from the Polynesian words for ocean and link - was initially planned to connect the US to Australia and French Polynesia. It will now also connect Auckland, New Zealand, and confirmed the cable will land at Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

The cable, expected to be complete in 2026, will provide 30Tbps of capacity between Australia and New Zealand.

Vocus said this branch of the Pacific Connect system will add a domestic route between Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a route across the Tasman Sea.

Ellie Sweeney, CEO at Vocus, said: “When combined with our existing cables, our network will span from Southeast Asia to the US via multiple diverse landings in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.”

She added: “Pacific Connect will significantly uplift trans-Tasman data capacity with the new Auckland landing, and brilliantly complements our existing network both in Australia and internationally - allowing Vocus to provide our customers with unprecedented network capacity and redundancy across three continents.”

The Pacific Connect initiative will deliver a trans-Pacific subsea ring between Australia and the US and an interlink cable between Fiji and French Polynesia. The system also includes pre-positioned branching units to enable connectivity for other Pacific nations in the future.

The other cable being deployed in the initiative is Tabua - named after a sacred Fijian whale’s tooth - and will connect the US and Australia to Fiji. Tabua and Honomoana will also connect between French Polynesia and Fiji.

Earlier this year, Intelia announced plans to launch a subsea cable connecting the Southern island of New Zealand to Australia.

Existing cables landing in New Zealand include Aqualink, Southern Cross Cable, Southern Cross NEXT, Hawaiki, and Tasman Global Access.

Vocus currently operates the 4,600km (2,900 mile) Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), the North West Cable System, and the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable system.

Google has invested in dozens of subsea cables - both privately and in consortiums. Earlier this month, the tech giant invested $1 billion in two new fiber cable routes between the US and Japan.