Fibre demise raises broadband questions
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 6:29p.m.
By Tony Field
The plug has been pulled on an ambitious plan to build a second undersea internet cable, linking New Zealand to Australia and the United States.
Its demise has raised questions about the Government's ultra-fast broadband initiative.
It was an ambitious plan involving some of New Zealand’s highest profile - and most successful entrepreneurs.
They invested almost $6 million, but despite advance orders from the likes of Vodafone, couldn't raise the $400 million they needed.
Investor and founder of TradeMe Sam Morgan is disappointed.
“We think it's a pretty bad thing for New Zealand, but we gave it a good shake.”
The 13,000km high-speed fibre optic cable would have competed with the existing Southern Cross cable, which is 50 percent owned by Telecom.
Telecommunications Users Association (TUANZ) chief executive Paul Brislen says it is a worry.
“It's going to be a real problem for New Zealand internet users in the years ahead. We have only got one provider of capacity at the moment and even if they are doing a good job you are never too sure if you are getting the best price for the service that is on offer.”
Pacific Fibre's chief executive Mark Rushworth says they were always going to need to attract offshore funding, but in the current economic climate that was incredibly hard to do.
“Gutted” was how Xero's Rod Drury described himself on Twitter.
He has questioned how the Government's investment in ultra-fast broadband makes sense until the price of international bandwidth is greatly reduced.
But Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says it should not be a problem.
“I don’t believe that is the case. There are no issues with capacity on the link that is there currently, there are no issues with reliability and there appears to be a decreasing issue with price.”
Even if someone else is prepared to try to fund a second international cable, TUANZ says it will take at least six years for it to become a reality.
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1/08/2012 10:09:47 p.m.
OLD NERD wrote:
Ok, its not good for all people in New Zealand waiting for broadband, let alone ultra fast.But hey, I put it to Vodafone you might have the fastest cable in NZ soon,if they want the market for broadband nows the time. Draping a cable from lamp post to lamp post for those you need it.
1/08/2012 8:59:35 p.m.
"even if they are doing a good job you are never too sure if you are getting the best price for the service that is on offer"
And there's the rub, Telecom have never done a good job. If you count slowing the internet to standstill so they could maintain there monopoly they have done an amazing job.
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