Dotcom calls for Pacific Fibre 'reboot'

Dotcom calls for Pacific Fibre 'reboot'

Summary: Kim Dotcom has said that the launch of his new file-sharing service, Mega, could "reboot" the failed Pacific Fibre subsea cable project.

TOPICS: Networking

New Zealand-based Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has put the challenge to Pacific Fibre Chairman Sam Morgan and Director Rod Drury to bring back plans to run a subsea cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, funded by his new file-sharing site Mega.

Where the proposed cable would have run.
(Credit: Pacific Fibre)

Dotcom tweeted to the pair yesterday, suggesting to meet to discuss the failed cable project. In August, Morgan announced that the planned 12.8 terabits per second cable would not go ahead after more than two years of planning, because Pacific Fibre had failed to raise the NZ$400 million in investment required to install the 13,000km cable between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles.

After announcing his intentions for new file-sharing site Mega to replace his original site, Megaupload, which was brought down by US authorities for copyright infringement in January, Dotcom said that New Zealand needs Pacific Fibre.

"I think it is important to reboot efforts to make it happen," he tweeted.

Drury responded, stating that he admired Dotcom's proposal, but that permission would be needed to connect to the United States. US authorities are unlikely to welcome any proposal from Dotcom while he is due to front extradition hearings in March next year. He will face charges of racketeering, copyright infringement, and money laundering in the United States, where he could face up to 20 years in jail.

Dotcom has reportedly said that Mega would fund the subsea cable project, and once in place, access to the cable would be free to New Zealand ISPs, meaning cheaper internet for NZ residents.

"Because ISPs control the last mile and provide equipment like routers, they would still charge a fee, but it could be as low as 15 percent to 20 percent of current bandwidth plans, with three to five times faster connection speeds, and without transfer limits," he reportedly said.

Opposition IT spokesperson Clare Curran said that the idea was worthy of further analysis.

"The sentiment is right. Kiwi businesses, particularly in the technology sector, have been calling for a second cable for some time now. Their concerns need to be taken seriously," she said in a statement.

Curran said that low uptake of the New Zealand Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) project could be partially blamed on a lack of international capacity.

"The government's much-vaunted ultrafast broadband scheme is in strife because people are not connecting in the numbers it had hoped. But they're not connecting because there's nothing to connect to."

Topic: Networking


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • As a New Zealander...

    Yes, we definitely need faster internet. I will hail Dotcom as a visionary if he pulls this off :D
  • Good bye New zealand

    Hope it does not happen but cables are always being cut or damaged and you only have one mmmm...
    • Correction

      Subsea cables are more reinforced than underground cables.
  • Don't Connect Via The US, Connect Via Hong Kong/China

    The previous attempt did get the funding (from a Chinese financier), but was then stymied because the US Government wouldn't allow any cable backed by Chinese money to connect to its shores.

    But there are plenty of other places to connect to the Internet; a quick Wikipedia search turned up half a dozen other cables already coming ashore in Hong Kong and the nearby Chinese mainland alone. So why not put the other end of this cable near those?
  • Kim Dot*zero

    In a related story, Bernie Madoff will be managing the pension and retirement accounts of all New Zealand citizens and Charles Manson will be the national president of the New Zealand PTA.
    Let’s get real. Kim Dot*Madoff made $500,000,000 off of megaupload using the music, tv, film, games of artists and creators worldwide, without a license, and without paying any royalties to anyone ever.
    Now he’s Mother Theresa? Funding public works in his beloved adopted country? This is a PR stunt and, now, Zdnet is supporting his ongoing criminal enterprise by not analyzing what is really happening in this story.
    If New Zealander’s think Kim Dot*Klepto is going to donate a penny to fund New Zealand public works they’re fooling themselves.
    Kim Dot*Madoff already had $500,000,000 in his pockets and what did he do? He bought himself mansions, yachts, supercars, fancy ladies, and fancy friends. He did not pay any royalties to the artists and creators, who he, and his “innocent users” ripped off.
    The author of this story needs to dig a little deeper.
    • Wow...

      Angry, much? i know I'm talking to a brick wall here, but exactly what did Kim Dotcom actually do wrong? Seriously, what?

      With millions of users, and millions of emails, the best the MPAA/RIAA/US Govt could come up with was... 6 emails. Not millions of users cyber lockering copyrighted files, but 6 emails. Every other complaint they had was false.

      They demanded, through takedown notices, that infringing content URL's were removed, and guess what? Every one was done to the satisfaction of the relevant laws. So how did Dotcom make $500m exactly, through "using the music, tv, film, games of artists and creators worldwide, without a license, and without paying any royalties to anyone ever" as you claim?

      In the meantime, what about the rest of the users who did absolutely nothing wrong? Where are their rights? As far as the MPAA/RIAA/US Govt is concerned, their rights have been flushed down the toilet, just to shut Dotcom down.

      Every step of this case so far has been a farce. The original raid, the spying done on Dotcom, the arrogance shown to third parties, as well as the US's own laws. And all they can point to are 6 emails SUGGESTING impropriety.

      So what has Dotcom done thats a crime deserving such treatment? Evidence please, or go back to under the bridge.