Telstra has announced it will invest in a 9,000km (5,600 mile) undersea cable stretching from Australia to Hawaii, to help improve telecoms links between the two countries and onwards to continental US. Telstra Chief Operations Officer Greg Winn said the cable would allow increased data transmission capability to the US while significantly reducing Australia’s reliance on foreign-owned companies. Telstra has contracted Alcatel Submarine Networks to lay the cable, with the project expected to be finished by mid-2008. Telstra did not say how much the new cable would cost. ‘Owning the infrastructure that provides this vital connection to Hawaii enables Telstra to deliver additional network capacity and reliability to our retail and wholesale customers, and will maximize returns for shareholders when we reroute traffic from existing routes owned by competitors,’ Winn said.