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Kim Dotcom Wants Free Fibre For New Zealand

Kim Dotcom
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Stop worrying about building roads and lay fibre instead, says Meagaupload founder

Kim Dotcom, founder of cloud hosting platform Megaupload, has claimed his latest project could help connect New Zealand and the US with an undersea fibre cable.

Dotcom told media that the upcoming Mega portal, announced last week, could finance the installation, making the country a prime destination for data centres and Internet businesses.

He even suggested the money obtained by suing Hollywood and the US government for ‘unlawful’ closure of Megaupload could help provide almost free fibre broadband to every resident of New Zealand.


Earlier plans to stretch 13,000 km of fibre between New Zealand, Australia and US by 2014 were abandoned in August, after the Pacific Fibre company failed to raise $400 million necessary for this project. The Telecommunications Users Association (TUA) called it “tragic news for the New Zealand market.”

However, Dotcom thinks the plan to double New Zealand’s bandwidth is essential to the future of the country, and he has invited Pacific Fibre management to talk about resurrecting the project. “One way or another, New Zealand needs Pacific Fibre,” Dotcom told ONE News.

The controversial entrepreneur said the cable installation could be financed by Mega – the successor to Megaupload that is expected to launch on 20 January 2013.

The new website promises more control over files, as well as improved security and reliability. Just like before, users will be able to upload, store and share photos, documents, music and video, but this time the platform will employ encryption, which Dotcom said would make the Mega operators immune to any copyright liability.

Megaupload was closed down by the US Department of Justice in January as part of a multinational co-operative move against online copyright infringement. The founder and three employees were taken into custody by New Zealand police, but were released on bail in February.

“We would provide all NZ ISPs with free access to the cable for individual customers (citizens) and charge a fee to business and government customers,” Dotcom said in an interview.

“Because ISPs control the last mile and provide equipment like routers they would still charge a fee but it could be as low as 15 – 20 percent of current bandwidth plans with three to five times faster connection speeds and without transfer limits.

“With its own cable, cheap power and connectivity, New Zealand could attract foreign Internet business.”

Dotcom also said that investing into fibre makes more sense than building roads, since in 10-15 years the majority of people will work and shop from home.

The announcement has received criticism in the media, with many doubting whether anything the Megaupload founder says can be taken seriously. Most of his assets remain frozen until an extradition hearing on 25 March, and if he is sent to the US and convicted, Dotcom could spend next 20 years in prison.

Others think he might actually pull it off. “If anyone can put together a deal like this, then it would be Kim Dotcom,” commented Paul Brislen, head of the TUA.

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Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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