Now Flying Solo, Pacific Fibre Releases Invitation to Tender

April 6th, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Today in the South Pacific, New Zealand based Pacific Fibre took another step toward making its goal of a new submarine cable connecting the country directly with the west coast of the USA as well as over to Australia.  They have released their 'Invitation to Tender' to selected submarine cable supply companies, which I assume would include folks like Tycom, Fujitsu, and Alcatel-Lucent.  Responses are due in mid-May after which they hope to move on to negotiations with a preferred vendor and eventual delivery of the system in 2013.

Pacific Fibre also confirmed what I had heard last fall: that Pacnet had dropped out of the project, and the Kiwis will be moving ahead alone.  When it was announced, there was considerable doubt from some quarters that this cable would ever see the light of day.  But it's not over yet.  According to CEO Mark Rushworth:

A joint build Memorandum of Understanding expired earlier this year, freeing us to move ahead more quickly. We have been assuming a solo-build system for several months now and remain firmly on track to finance and deliver the system in 2013.

When complete, the cable as currently envisioned would consist of two fibre pairs with a design capacity of 5.12Tbps and newly built landing stations in each country.  The map seems to have been modified since last year, with a landing in Wellington missing, with a jog around Samoa inserted though I can't tell if it lands there.

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Categories: Undersea cables

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  • Josan Leung says:

    At the same week PF came out with their announcement, PacNet hit the presses with their new “agreement” with Bharti.

    Lets see if the proposed joint build from Singapore to India ever sees the light of day. Inside story is even this venture has yet to pass through the increasing anxious investors review and there is mounting issues meeting internal hurdle rates.

    Also internally there are stories about a flurry of activity as PacNet seeks strategic partners to allow their Private Equity investors to partially exit. Stayed tuned for more news in the coming months.

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