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Spark New Zealand is set to invest over NZD 15 million to strengthen the digital infrastructure throughout the Waikato region and improve customers’ access to high quality cloud and connectivity services.

Spark will collaborate with the University of Waikato by taking over the operation of the institution's current on-campus data center facility, providing businesses in Waikato with access to modern and local cloud services.

The partnership also seeks to enhance and increase the capacity of the data center, converting it into a key edge data center for Spark and its business customers.

Mark Beder, Spark Customer Director for Enterprise and Government, expressed enthusiasm about the cooperation, highlighting the importance of investing in data center capacity across the country.

“As we continue to experience an exponential growth in data, ongoing migration to the cloud, and embrace new technologies like generative AI (GenAI); access to high quality, resilient, computing infrastructure such as cloud services located in data centers is critical to the competitiveness of New Zealand and our regions,” said Beder.

A Robust Data Center Strategy

Spark also plans to invest in a new, modern fiber backbone that spans from Otorohonga to Te Kauwhata, to serve the growing Hamilton East and Ruakura area, greatly improving the connection to the data center and strengthening its ability to withstand disruptions.

Additionally, the partnership with the University of Waikato involves the institution becoming a primary customer of Spark at the on-campus data center.

“Spark will be a key partner to the university, providing diverse services at the new Waikato data center. This partnership also enables us to focus on our technology strategy and utilizing Spark’s capabilities as a leading data center operator, strategically supporting our business application and ICT infrastructure projects,” noted Eion Hall, University of Waikato Chief Information Officer.

Spark's comprehensive data center strategy involves the establishment of three large-scale data center campuses in Auckland's North Shore, CBD (Aotea), and South (Takanini).

The company intends to maintain its investments in metro sites in Wellington and Christchurch, while also keeping edge data center facilities in regional areas including Hamilton, Tauranga, and Dunedin, allows them to meet a wide range of consumer needs across New Zealand.

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