Submarine Cables

Waiheke Island Cable Installation

A recently installed submarine fibre-optic cable that connects Auckland’s Maraetai Beach to Waiheke Island has delivered two important benefits for the island’s 10,000 residents: a vastly improved internet and data experience; and protection against the risk of faults or damage that could leave them technologically stranded.

For the Seaworks team the project was straightforward; it was the latest in a record of more than 1,800km of submarine cable installed. However, in this case we were involved much earlier than usual in supporting our clients, Visionstream (now Ventia) and Chorus, with services that included applying for resource consents and other permits, providing cost estimates and advising on the cable related technical matters.

We also undertook a diver route survey and seabed inspection and analysis before designing the route, and deployed our specialist cable-handling equipment to load the more than 13,500 kilograms of cable, associated buoys, and other tools on to the MV Tranquil Image near Maraetai Beach.

From there everything went smoothly. The 6-kilometre cable was accurately laid on the seabed within a day using our specialist 3 wheel pair linear cable engine. Over the following 10 days the cable was buried using a remotely operated burial machine that was developed by our preferred dive contractor and Seaworks. The cable at Maraetai Beach was positioned and installed in a prepared duct – with enough slack to cope with the inevitable erosion – and that at Woodside Bay on Waiheke Island was cut to length and installed in an excavated pipe.

With the project complete, the cable is expected to serve the island’s broadband needs for at least the next 30 years. For the 10,000 residents – and the additional 36,000 visitors who
descend on the island in the summer months – that’s very good to know.

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