By Sophie Ryan, NZ Herald

The first section of the Tasman Global Access cable will be laid at a Raglan beach this month.

Specialist submarine cable experts will be descending on Raglan later this month to lay the first section of a new link connecting New Zealand to the world.

The link, known as the Tasman Global Access (TGA) cable. will span the Tasman on the bottom of the sea floor, and is an joint investment between Spark, Vodafone and Telstra.

The $1 billion project will significantly improve New Zealand's international broadband connectivity, the telcos say.

It will also strengthen links to fast-growing Asian markets, improve redundancy and resiliency, and provide a better connection with the five main international cable systems currently serving Australia.

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), now part of Nokia, has been contracted to lay the cable between Ngarunui Beach in Raglan and Narrabeen Beach in Sydney.

Working laying the cable will start on March 29 and the first part of the process is expected to take about a week, dependent on weather.

The TGA cable is currently on track to be completed, tested and ready for service by the end of 2016. The 2,300km length of cable is comprised of two fibre pairs, and will have a total capacity of 20 terabits per second.

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