Kim Dotcom Planning $400 Million Fiber Cable To New Zealand
In what appears to be a very humanitarian move, Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload and the upcoming new Me.ga, announced last night that he plans to build a $400 million (NZD) cable running across the Pacific Ocean and into New Zealand. The cable (which would cost roughly $330 million USD) would be designated to replace a previously failed attempt to create such a link between the United States and New Zealand. Additionally, Dotcom says he plans to provide free access to the bandwidth to ISPs that service individuals and charge a fee to connect businesses and the New Zealand government.
Consumers would still be charged a fee to connect to the fiber line, but it is estimated to cost a fraction of what they pay now: one-fifth the price for five times more bandwidth.
Dotcom says that he’s doing this because he sees fast and reliable internet connectivity as a right that should be easily accessible to all citizens:
“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 business. Unfortunately the current Government wants to invest into more tarmac roads. In 10-15 years most people will work and shop from home. You don’t need tarmac, you need fiber!”
While this is all well and good, there’s only one problem: raising funds to build the cable. Kim Dotcom says that his company will fund a large portion of the project but will rely on investors to make up the rest. It may be hard for Dotcom to gain money, given his shady legal history. Investors don’t typically fork over $400 million to just anyone, and Dotcom may be faced with some friction due to his past. This also assumes that he doesn’t get extradited to the United States first.