Pacific Fibre, the local start-up seeking to build a second internet cable linking New Zealand to the world, has signed up its fifth foundation customer, taking total contracted commitments for sales to US$200 million.
The unnamed US client joins local mobile phone operator Vodafone New Zealand, Australian broadband provider iiNet, and government education network operator Research and Education Network New Zealand, who have signed up to use Pacific Fibre’s cable when it’s completed.
“We are pleased to have secured another significant sale to a US customer, further de-risking the Pacific Fibre business for investors,” chairman Sam Morgan said in a statement.
The cable operator also said it expects to raise capital to build its network by mid-June.
“We have had great engagement with global institutional funds and are now bringing our fundraising to a close,” Morgan said.
Pacific Fibre, which is backed by heavyweight entrepreneurs Morgan, Stephen Tindall, Rod Drury and US billionaire Peter Thiel, will be competing directly with the Southern Cross Cable network which links New Zealand and Australia to the US.
Last year it signed up America’s TE Connectivity to build its trans-Pacific network, which had previously been given a US$400 million price-tag.
Morgan said the new trans-Pacific cable is expected to open on July 16 2014.