A second trans-Tasman telecommunications cable looks to be a step closer with work on the project set to ramp up in the next six months.
State-owned company Kordia says it is on track to award a contract to install the $200 million submarine cable early next year.
Kordia chief executive Geoff Hunt says the new fibre-optic cable, named the Optikor, will reduce New Zealand's connectivity risk to Australia and beyond.
Mr Hunt says Kordia's plans have already prompted Southern Cross, which owns the existing trans-Tasman cable, to drop its prices and once the new cable is deployed it will encourage further competition.
Kordia's board of directors decided at a meeting on Tuesday to begin surveying work and finalising the cost of the project.
A final decision on whether to proceed with the cable roll-out will be made by April next year.