Iwi-owned fibre network operator Taitokerau Fibre Networks has selected mission-critical technology provider Kordia to upgrade its connectivity between Auckland and Whangarei.
Under the terms of a new agreement, Kordia will implement carrier-grade dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) on Taitokerau’s fibre assets that connect the two cities, substantially boosting the capacity of the network and increasing service performance.
Taitokerau Fibre Networks Limited (TFN) is a Layer One telecommunications provider that owns and operates a backhaul fibre optic cable. It is 80 per cent owned by three Iwi of Te Taitokerau (Te Rarawa, Ngati Whatua and Whaingaroa) and 20 per cent owned by Southpark Utilities Limited. The company’s vision is to enable connectivity and provide bandwidth to the people of Northland, complementing the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband Initiatives (RBI) programmes in Northland with backhaul capability.
According to Aaron Olphert, Kordia CDO, the equipment being introduced to TFN’s network has the potential to deliver up to 4Tbit/s of data between Auckland and Whangarei, which is almost 50 times the existing network capacity.
"That’s a significant boost to the capability that can be enabled by other service providers and enterprise customers in and out of the Northland region through this investment. DWDM technology substantially increases the carrying data capacity of fibre optic connections by using multiple distinct light carriers within the same physical piece of glass.”
‘Backhaul’ refers to the telecommunications practice of interconnecting major network aggregation points, typically between cities, over a dedicated path. ‘Carrier grade’ networks are extremely reliable, high performance and are able to carry large amounts of data traffic.
Kordia operates an existing 9.6 terabit per second capable DWDM network in all major centres between Auckland and Wellington, carrying a range of services including wholesale intercity
capacity, corporate data services, live sport and data centre replication. The engagement with TFN establishes the Whangarei network as an extension to Kordia’s existing DWDM network, enabling high-speed connectivity between the northern city and other North Island main centres.
June McCabe, TFN director, says the company tested the market to find an appropriate service provider that would help fulfil its long-term ambitions. “Kordia is recognised for keeping New Zealand’s TV broadcast, radio and maritime safety networks running, where the highest levels of resilience, reliability and availability are non-negotiable. As a connectivity provider ourselves, our customers look to us for reliable backhaul connectivity. With its fibre credentials, Kordia is the ideal solution provider.”
McCabe says the TFN network is backhaul dark fibre –– and Kordia is turning some of its latent capacity into ‘lit fibre’ through the installation of the DWDM technology so it can be used by customers in Northland down to Auckland and beyond. “The partnership is both strategic as it lends further credibility to TFN and pragmatic as Kordia has the track record in providing and supporting these solutions.”
Kordia will install the new equipment and manage it for 10 years.
Noting that TFN was conceived and created in 2011 before the UFB and RBI networks took off, McCabe says it has moved from addressing the limited connectivity to Northland at the time, to expanding its reach. “The partnership with Kordia is a step towards another level of sustainability for the business. The company is known for delivering quality service for lit fibre and in time, we will look towards taking our backhaul cable further north. Our vision is to provide Northlanders with a backhaul connection that will improve network resilience and performance, while boosting the local economy.”
Kordia will put the DWDM network for TFN into production on 1 June 2018.