Kim Dotcom has announced his intention to invest in a second Internet cable connecting New Zealand to the world.
Dotcom told Computerworld that the move isn't out of charity towards New Zealanders who are currently reliant on one international cable link to the rest of the world - Southern Cross Cable, which is majority owned by Telecom. He says his new business ventures need a second cable in order to service potentially millions of customers around the world.
In the past two weeks Dotcom has been testing two new cloud products called Me.ga, a cloud locker service similar to the one shut down early the year by the US government, and Megabox, a music service.
To support the "new Mega", Dotcom is establishing a business out of New Zealand, which will include a data center to host Me.ga, and he says it could be an example for others to use New Zealand as a base for cloud services.
Dotcom is a New Zealand resident, living in Auckland's North Shore. He says he wants to set up Me.ga in New Zealand because of its relatively cheap and clean power supply.
"You have clean and cheap energy here. Power is becoming the biggest cost factor for data centers around the world. With its own cable, cheap power, and connectivity New Zealand could attract foreign internet businesses," says Dotcom.
"The new Mega based in New Zealand might be what's needed to make this thing happen."
The two new services alone will require connection speeds of over two terabits within two years.
Dotcom suggests resurrecting the failed Pacific Fibre submarine internet cable project, which fell short of its $400 million target earlier this year.
Dotcom says he was a supporter of the cable project, which would have connected New Zealand to Australia and the US. Two years ago Dotcom met with Mark Rushworth, co-founder and Pacific Fibre CEO, to discuss funding the cable and flew in the chief executive of Cogent Communications to discuss potential parnerships in the venture.
"I was always of the opinion that Pacific Fibre was the most important investment into the future of New Zealand to ensure its competitiveness in the online world,"says Dotcom.
"Unfortunately the government wants to invest more into Tarmac roads,"says Dotcom.
"In 10 to 15 years most people will work and shop from home. You don't need Tarmac, you need fibre."
When Pacific Fibre wound up, chair Rod Drury cited a lack of investment was the deciding factor in the project's failure.
Dotcom says he would raise investment domestically with backbone providers and through his Mega business, which would be the biggest customer on the cable.
If there is a shortfall, Dotcom says "Plan B" is to sue the US government for shutting down Megaupload and use any money recouped from civil proceedings to fund the cable.
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