Pacific Fibre submarine cable network plans shelved due to funding issues

The planned Pacific Fibre submarine cable project, which proposed to link New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, will shut down, the board announced this week after failing to raise the necessary NZD 400 million (USD 324 million) funding needed for the network.

Pacific Fibre submarine cable

Pacific Fibre's planned submarine network.

When the Pacific Fibre company was founded in 2010 in Auckland, the plan was to complete a 13,000 km undersea cable network that proponents touted would lower the cost of bandwidth for New Zealand's broadband customers.

"We started Pacific Fibre because we know how important it is to connect New Zealanders to global markets," said Rod Drury, co-founder and director of Pacific Fibre, in a statement. "The high cost of broadband in New Zealand makes it hard to connect globally and it is this market failure, not a technical failure, which we tried hard to solve." 

Drury added that he does not know how the New Zealand government's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative will be able to meet its mission without another international cable connection to the Southern Cross Cable Network. Costs on the network, even to nearby Australia, have been traditionally high.

One possible lower cost connectivity alternative to Australia is state-owned Kordia, via the Optikor brand. Although Kordia said last September that its proposed submarine cable route to Australia was on hold, the provider could move forward through a partnership with Chinese company Axin Ltd.

For more:
- see the release
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
Vodafone NZ becomes Pacific Fibre's largest New Zealand customer
Pacific Fibre employs TE Subcom to build its trans-Pacific submarine cable system
Pacific Fibre gets its financing sources in order
Pacific Fibre goes it alone, looks for vendors to help build submarine cable system
Indonesia's Telkom decides to pass on buying Pacnet