By Tom Pullar-Strecker,

New Zealand's internet connection to the United States has survived a cable cut in Oregon on the US west coast.

Southern Cross Cable Network confirmed a segment of its cable network was cut at about 1am New Zealand time when a contractor working for the state's transport department in the town of Klamath Falls cut through it with a digger.

Spokeswoman Rosemay Foot said the cable was repaired in a little under nine hours.

Southern Cross' network is configured as a “figure of eight” centred on Hawaii. The design means there is always one back-up route if a section of the cable is cut.

The land-based “E2” segment of the cable that runs between Oregon and San Jose that was cut has an addition terrestrial back-up. But Foot said its “first choice” was to instead switch circuits across its international links.

Traffic that would usually run between the US and Australia was diverted via New Zealand.

Foot said New Zealand customers of Southern Cross had not been affected by the cable cut and nor had other customers who had paid for capacity via a back-up route.

However, the outage had some impact on customers outside New Zealand who had not paid for “protected circuits”, she said.

Foot revealed there had been another cut on the same link in February when a boring machine cut through its fibre-optic cable near Sacramento.

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