17 Mar 2010

Ultra-fast cable could bring Pacific up to speed

10:23 am on 17 March 2010

A plan to provide inexpensive, ultra-fast internet via a cable from the United States to Australia and New Zealand could be rolled out to other countries in the Pacific.

The New Zealand led initiative, Pacific Fibre, announced the plan last Friday, saying a cable five times the size of what is currently available is vital to bring the region's internet access up to international standards.

One of the founders of company, Mark Rushworth, says demand and government interest could mean countries close to Australia and New Zealand will be among the first offered a link to the cable.

"We'll be putting a cable through to New Zealand from the US and there's an opportunity to do spurs or feeders off that cable, covering the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and of course Tahiti. And if there's enough interest we'll engage the local government and work out with them what the cost is and how we'll share those costs."

Pacific Fibre founder, Mark Rushworth

Pacific Fibre are seeking funding over 640 million US dollars to complete the project by 2013.