Plans sink for major submarine fiber cable system

Aug. 2, 2012
The board of Pacific Fibre, a submarine fiber cable network that would link Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S., has called it quits.

The board of Pacific Fibre, a company assembled in 2010 to raise funds to deploy a submarine fiber-optic cable network that would link Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, has called it quits. The board concluded that it would not be able to raise the NZ$400 million the project would require, and therefore the company has ceased operations.

“A 13,000-km cable is clearly an audacious thing to try and do," explains Pacific Fibre board chairman Sam Morgan via a press statement. "We were fortunate to find supportive shareholders, fantastic staff, and early customer support from the likes of REANNZ and Vodafone. We’ve spent millions of shareholder funds trying to get this done, and despite getting some good investor support we have not been able to find the level of investment required in New Zealand initially and more broadly offshore.”

Pacific Fibre signed a supply agreement with TE Subcom in July of last year for a two-cable system, each with two fibers, with a design capacity of 12.8 Tbps. The target completion date was 2014.

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“We started Pacific Fibre because we know how important it is to connect New Zealanders to global markets. The high cost of broadband in New Zealand makes it hard to connect globally and it is this market failure, not a technical failure, that we tried hard to solve,” added the company's co-founder and director, Rod Drury.

“We feel like we’ve done everything we can to succeed and we are all hugely disappointed that we have not managed to get there,” concluded Pacific Fibre's board chairman Morgan.


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