4 Nov 2012

Pacific Fibre founder says Dotcom plan not the answer

11:55 am on 4 November 2012

The founder of a company that planned to launch a high-speed broadband cable between New Zealand and the United States says Kim Dotcom's offer to revive the project might not be helpful.

The internet entrepreneur said on Twitter he would relaunch the Pacific Fibre project and provide free broadband for all New Zealanders.

Mr Dotcom faces extradition to the United States to face copyright charges related to his Megaupload website which was shut down after his arrest in January.

Pacific Fibre was set up to build the cable but the company stopped operating this year because it was unable to raise the $400 million required to fund its installation.

One of its founders, Rod Drury says the project needs US government permission to connect to that country and Mr Dotcom's involvement in the internet content industry could work against him.

"We've seen powerful lobbyists and the US content industry which would absolutely knock it, so I don't think he's the answer. But I think this does highlight that it's still really, really important."

Pacific Fibre expected broadband prices to decrease if a new 13,000km wire was put in place.

Mr Drury says Kim Dotcom could work with others as part of a New Zealand team to get the project underway.

Telecommunications Users Association chief executive Paul Brislen says someone with that kind of business contacts would be ideal to bring in additional funding.

Mr Dotcom is not yet speaking publicly about his plans.