Kim Dotcom, the larger than life personality behind the now defunct Megaupload and potential sequels, Mega and Mega Box, has announced another business plan of his – to resurrect plans for the Pacific Fibre cable that would give New Zealanders super faster internet at a fraction of what they currently pay.
Under Mr Dotcom’s ideal, he would fund the project using investment dollars made from taking legal action against Hollywood Studios and the US Government for its “unlawful and political destruction,” of his business and from outside investment. He would need a total of $400 million NZ (£200 million), to create the 8,000 mile fibre cable between Los Angelese, Auckland and Sydney. If successful however, he promised to deliver free access to the cable for individuals and families, only charging a premium for business use. This would also reduce current broadband rates in the country by a factor of five, as well as increasing speeds by three to five times.
It all seems very grandiose, especially considering the fact that the Pacific Fibre project isn’t a new idea, it’s something that was tried and failed under Trade Me founder Sam Morgan. That project was shelved in August this year after failing to generate enough investment, despite strong local support. However there are some new faces giving the thumbs up to this iteration of the plan, including Labour communications and IT spokesperson Clare Durran who said (via NZHerald): “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.”
Dotcom also called for the government to help the investment by using some of the money it plans for new roadways, to fund the cable project.
KitGuru Says: A second big fibre line would make a big change for current NZ broadband offerings, but not everyone might be comfortable with the idea of Dotcom funding it off the back of the studios that attacked him in the courts. What do you guys feel?