Anyone that follows the New Zealand domestic web space will have noticed a crescendo about international bandwidth. Rod Drury’s been talking about capacity constraint for a few years now, Sam Morgan was quoted in the latest Idealog magazine as saying he might just build a new pipe himself and others have been similarly active in furthering this idea.

Announced this morning is Pacific Fibre, an early stage international fibre venture founded by a group including Stephen Tindall, Morgan and Drury. Hell even the blogosphere gets a look-in with local boy Lance Wiggs having a role in all of this.

The group is looking to secure funding and build a 5.12 Terabits/sec capacity fibre cable to be ready in 2013 connecting Australia, New Zealand and the USA –  the initial proposal is a cable which will deliver five times the capacity of the existing Southern Cross system.

The current proposed cable configuration would be 13,000 km long, and have two fibre pairs with 64 wavelengths (lambdas) each at 40 Gigabits/sec per lambda. The maximum lit capacity initially would be 5.12 Terabits/sec, but would be upgradeable to over 12 Terabits/sec as the emerging 100 Gbit/sec per lambda technology becomes reality. The newer cable and repeater technology that Pacific Fibre proposes to use will be substantially more easily upgradeable than that of existing cables.

The company is still undergoing incorporation so no details about ownership and governance are available but involved parties are:

  • Stephen Tindall – Founder of The Warehouse and K1W1
  • Rod Drury – Founder of Xero
  • Sam Morgan – Founder of TradeMe
  • Mark Rushworth – former Vodafone Chief Marketing Officer, technology 
  • John Humphrey – industry veteran and
  • Lance Wiggs – strategy consultant and entrepreneur
More to come on this one – watch this space…
Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Great news! I’m over in Singapore at the moment and its hard not to foresee a huge gap between New Zealand and the world as countries such as this develop full fibre coverage and links with other major networks.

    These pipes will be critical for New Zealand businesses to keep up.

  • Great “Intent” but seriously:
    1. Who in NZ will want to open their wallet to participate?
    2. What is the value add to businesses here knowing that most businesses’ culture is to “limit” access to the internet because it is perceived as unproductive?
    3. Where is the public offering to invest?
    my 2 cents: There is definitely a great deal of cash loaded risks adverse people in this country, yet, there is also a generation of “my New Zealand, my future, my asset” that are eager to invest into profitable assets for their country.
    2 million people, 100 dollars each….. when can we subscribe?

  • If prices of high speed computers do not come down for poor people to afford, what good will the fiber optic cable do? To compound matters, this cable way is going to be part financed by them too.

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