Auckland beach landings labelled vital in Wikileaks cable

The Southern Cross undersea cable landings at two Auckland beaches have been labelled critical infrastructure and key resources by the United States government, a Wikileaks cable released today reveals.

The fibre optic submarine cable - New Zealand's only broadband connection to the outside world - is 50% owned by Telecom, 40% by SingTel Optus and 10% by Verizon. Pacific Fibre, a start-up backed by rich listers Sam Morgan, Rod Drury and Sir Stephen Tindall, is attempting to challenge Southern Cross' monopoly, but is still in the planning and funding stages.

They are the landings for the fibre optic link at Whenuapai and Takapuna.

The memo from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is titled critical foreign dependencies (critical infrastructure and key resources located abroad) dated February 18 last year and is classified secret.

It says it is not for internet distribution.

The cable, released by Wikileaks, explains that under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was written.

On its website the Southern Cross Cable Network says it provides fast and secure international bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii to the US.

It delivers 620 gigabits of fully protected bandwidth.

The memo says that a National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was developed under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

It aimed to bring together critical infrastructure and key resources (CI/KR).

"The overarching goal of the NIPP is to build a safer, more secure, and more resilient America by enhancing protection of the nation's CI/KR to prevent, deter, neutralise or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit them; and to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an attack, natural disaster or other emergency."

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