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Cook Strait cable 150 years old

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/08/2016

On August 26, 1866, the Cook Strait cable was successfully connected.

"It was a momentous achievement for its time," Communications Minister Amy Adams said on Friday.

"The successful connection came on the third attempt in laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process."

Now there are several cables crossing Cook Strait carrying everything from ultra-fast broadband to landline telephone calls and electricity.

Ms Adams says that in 1866 the cable's speed was around 18 bits per second, or one stream of Morse code.

Now it's two billion times faster.

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