Plans to establish high-speed bandwidth-on-demand connections between public service LANs in Singapore and New Zealand were set in motion recently with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by 1-Net Singapore Pte. Ltd. and New Zealand consortium First Light.

First Light is pushing the idea of a direct New Zealand-to-Singapore link — a “digital trade route” — as opposed to the present data routing regime, whereby data sent to Singapore from New Zealand goes via Europe or the United States.

Among its members is Wellington metro Ethernet provider CityLink, which supplies public LAN services in a city.

“A public LAN service looks at interconnecting LANs and that’s fundamentally different from the idea of telcos supplying leased line data services,” said Tone Borren, who was recently appointed chief executive of NGI/NZ, an initiative aimed at getting New Zealand’s next-generation Internet up and running nationally. According to Borren, under the potential digital trade route, “every LAN will be able to dial an IP address and connect to the service.”

Under the MOU, the two parties will explore the potential and viability of setting up a reciprocal service in Singapore, to what is currently being offered in Wellington New Zealand, said Homer Tan, director of Operations with broadband infrastructure provider 1-Net. It will look at the potential of such CityLink-type service for LANs in Wellington and Singapore to interconnect.

The network will run at a minimum of 100Mbps and often at 1Gbps, said Borren, and unlike the traditional telco data model, “we’re not leasing it continually; it’ll be pay per burst, also known as bandwidth-on-demand.”

Tan of 1-Net said the success of the initiative could provide a platform for increased corporate business potential between the two countries.

According to Borren, Singapore is a very suitable candidate for a digital trade route “as we have a close economic partnership and they have a local-national broadband network.”

If the New Zealand-Singapore route is established, it would open up the possibility of others, he said.