Kordia 'quietly optimistic' about trans-Tasman cable

Project remains on track, CEO says

Kordia remains in the game to launch a second international fibre-optic cable connecting New Zealand to Australia, despite rival cable project Pacific Fibre gathering momentum.

"The project is developing nicely and we are quietly optimistic," says chief executive Geoff Hunt.

He won't give any further details at this stage because of issues of confidentiality.

On July 28 Pacific Fibre announced it had formed a partnership with Pacnet, the largest privately-owned cable network in the Asia Pacific region.

Computerworld phoned Hunt on the day following the announcement, to see if Pacific Fibre's plans would mean Optikor would still go ahead.

"There's only room for one [additional] cable across the Tasman and ours was always a trans-Tasman project," he told Computerworld. "Once they've [Pacific Fibre] got to a position where they can launch the project, there wouldn't be a business case to launch a second cable," he said.

At the time Kordia had spent $2 million on the Optikor project and back then Hunt suggested this IP might be of interest to Pacific Fibre.

Now, however he is more optimistic about Optikor's future.

"We decided to just carry on under the covers," he says.

Meanwhile Pacific Fibre has just announced the raising of more than $5.5 million following its fourth funding round, describing the move as development seed money for scaling the team, resource and capability.

The cable is expected to have a total cost of $US400 million and will be funded from a mixture of debt and equity. A vendor is expected to be selected by the beginning of the second financial quarter.

Pacific Fibre says it has begun signing customers but hasn't named them.

Chief executive Mark Rushworth says the company hasn't ruled out working with Kordia.

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