Next venture plans fibre optic cable

Another hazy venture has joined the ranks of wannabes that have promised to break the Southern Cross Cable's near-monopoly on international bandwidth to and from New Zealand.

First there was Kordia's Optikor cable, then there was Pacific Fibre, then talk of a French-government backed cable, then Chinese-linked Axin and after that there was Optikor again.

Now a new Auckland-registered company, Hawaiki Cable, has sketched plans on a website for an 8 terabit-per-second cable linking New Zealand, Australia and six Pacific islands to Hawaii by the end of 2014.

Hawaiki's chief executive is former Alcatel-Lucent executive Remi Galasso. Sources were unable to immediately confirm his relative seniority in the firm.  

The company, which lists seven other staff on its website, said its goal was to be a new supplier of bandwidth in the Pacific submarine cable market.

It promised to "significantly contribute to the development of New Zealand and Pacific islands' business by providing future-proof capacity and connectivity", introduce "true competition" in New Zealand and the islands and drop the cost of internet access for end-users.

Sales director Ludovic Hutier said it was too early to communicate in detail about the project.

"Building such a system is an exciting and ambitious challenge for our team members and partners," who he did not name. "At this stage of the project, our focus is to finalise the funding plan and obtain all necessary approvals to go ahead," he said.

The company's legal adviser, Auckland lawyer Peter Missingham, is listed as the sole shareholder of Hawaiki, but Hutier did not confirm the long-term beneficial owner of the company.