Those who have been fighting to build a new submarine cable between New Zealand and the west coast of the US, as well as islands along the way, have taken another two steps forward toward that goal. One is financial, the other logistical.
Late last week, Hawaiki Cable gained a new equity investor in the form of Sir Eion Edgar’s SIL Long Term Holdings Limited. The company is already backed by Sinclair investments, and had recently hired Natixis to help close on the necessary financing to actually start construction later this year. I rather doubt Sir Eion’s contribution will tip the balance on its own for the $300-400M cable (his net worth is in the $100M range I believe), but it will certainly help.
And apparently, they’ve chosen the landing station as well, at least on the New Zealand end. They aren’t disclosing details, but it’s said to be in New Zealand’s Northland region, near Bream Bay, between Whangrei and Mangawhai Heads.
Hawaiki is the latest attempt to build a cable that would compete with Southern Cross in providing bandwidth to the region. It’s a tug of war between organizations and companies who want an alternative for the raw bandwidth, additional competition, and simple resiliency that another cable would provide and the economic realities of paying for it given the relatively sparse populations on the New Zealand and Australian ends. Pacific Fibre hit a wall a few years back, after which Hawaiki emerged as the newest protagonist. Looks like they just might get it done this time.
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