Joyce: Funding Pacific cable not a priority

Focus remains on rural broadband and ultrafast broadband initiatives

Communications Minister Steven Joyce has responded coolly to a suggestion to help fund a US$400 million (NZ$520m) communications cable that Pacific Fibre wants to lay between Australasia and the United States.

Pacific Fibre founder Rod Drury told Computerworld last week that the company is satisfied it has a proven commercial model but it is exploring the possibility of a public private partnership in order to ensure the project remains New Zealand based.

Pacific Fibre chief executive Mark Rushworth said it had put some proposals to the Government, which needed to ensure widespread uptake of the fibre that would be laid under its $1.5 billion broadband initiatives.

However, Mr Joyce said: "Previously, we have made it clear that the focus is on the rural broadband and ultrafast broadband initiatives." These do not have an international component.

Additional reporting by Computerworld staff.

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