Hawaiki signs contract with TE Subcom to supply, lay Australia-NZ-US cable
Hawaiki, which is trying to raise $US350 million to lay fibre between Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the mainland US, says it has contracted US company TE Subcom to supply and install its proposed 14,000km cable.
It's another promising step for the company, which earlier said it has signed anchor contracts with Australia's TPG and New Zealand's Orcon, as well as a memorandum of understanding with the Northland Regional Council to land the cable (the MoU also has a role for the Northland local authority in raising funds).
And again, it's retracing Pacific Fibre's footsteps.
Pacific Fibre also had the New Jersey-based TE Subcom signed up to build its proposed Sydney-Auckland-LA cable (ultimately abandoned after less than half the required $NZ400 million was raised, despite anchor customer contracts from Vodafone, CallPlus, Australia's iiNet and Crown company Reannz).
Still, those who want to see competition for the 50% Telecom-owned Southern Cross Cable will have their fingers crossed.
Last week, the government put $15 million in the pot for a new Australia-NZ-US cable in the form of an anchor customer bandwidth contract from Crown company Reannz.ICT Minister Amy says Hawaiki is eligible to apply for the Reannz contract (while Hawaiiki's CEO Remi Glasso is based in Noumea, a spokesman for the company tells NBR the company is registered in NZ).
China's Huawei is generally considered the most keenly priced submarine cable supplier, but is in a tricky political spot across the Tasman where the outgoing Gillard-Rudd government banned it from bidding on the National Broadband Network (NBN) over security concerns (denied by Huawei) and opened an investigation into a proposed Huawei cable between Perth and Singapore.
Rival TE Subcom was pushed by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2010 visit to NZ.
RAW DATA: Hawaiki statement