The Government has taken a step towards bringing a second international telecommunications cable to New Zealand.
The Crown company, Research and Educational Advanced Network, has entered into a $65 million deal with Hawaiki Cable for capacity on its proposed new cable linking Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
It would run between Sydney, Whangarei and Oregon, and connect several Pacific islands en route.
The agreement is conditional on Hawaiki obtaining sufficient presales contracts.
The Government said a new cable would improve New Zealand's international telecommunications links and raise the level of competition.
The 13,000km cable is expected to be operational in 2016.