Pacnet backs $400m trans-Pacific cable

Nicole McCormick
29 Jul 2010

Hong Kong-based Pacnet has emerged as the white knight behind a proposed 5Tbps trans-Pacific subsea cable.

Pacnet yesterday announced plans to jointly build the cable, which will link Sydney to Los Angeles via Auckland, alongside unfunded startup Pacific Fibre.

Pacific Fibre revealed plans for the network, which has a design capacity of 5.12 Tbps and be initially lit at 240 Gbps, in March.

Four months ago, Pacific Fibre – backed by several high-profile New Zealand businessmen, including former Vodafone executive and Pacific Fibre's chief Mark Rushworth – pegged the project’s cost at NZ$900 million ($650m).

Yesterday Rushworth revised the project’s “estimated system build costs to around $400 million,” given Pacnet’s involvement.

Pacnet and Pacific Fibre will “each own and operate a fiber pair on the new cable system,” and share operations and maintenance costs.

“This model allows partners to complement each other’s expertise and resources while reducing costs and risks, and has been proven through a number of successful precedents including the $300 million [Pacnet-backed] Unity cable connecting Japan and the US.”

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