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10 January 2013
| Guy Matthews
A major subsea cable project sunk without a trace in 2012, raising the question: is there about to be a subsea construction lull? Guy Matthews investigates.
Submarine cable venture Pacific Fibre was formed at the
beginning of 2010 with the aim of building a new network
between Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Its backers claimed the cable had every chance of success,
offering much needed diversity on an increasingly important
route dominated by ageing infrastructure.
The 5.12Tbps, 13,000km cable was scheduled to be ready in
2013, connecting the three countries and offering five times
the capacity of the Southern Cross cable system.
The venture has now folded, not because its basic aims were
flawed or unrealistic, but because it was simply unable to
attract enough funding to make the project happen.
The failure of Pacific Fibre does not suddenly bring
intercontinental cable building to a hard stop. Other major
projects around the world are going ahead, even if not quite at
the rate of the last few golden years that have seen...