So you know that MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom is preparing the file-sharing site's successor, simply called "Mega". What you might not know is that the service will be based in New Zealand and to get the country ready for what could be a massive influx of traffic, Dotcom wants to bring the Pacific Fibre project back from the dead and provide NZ ISPs free use of the connection.
On November 2, Dotcom ambitiously tweeted:
The new Mega company will be based in NZ & become it's most valuable IT biz. I will relaunch Pacific Fibre. Free broadband for all Kiwi's :)
A more subdued tweet followed up by stating that "one way or another, New Zealand needs Pacific Fibre".
What's Pacific Fibre exactly? It was a 13,000km undersea cable project that would link Australia and New Zealand to Los Angeles, with the intention of dramatically increasing NZ's internet bandwidth with the rest of the world. Pacific Fibre got wings in March 2010, but failed to raise the $NZ400 million required to make it reality.
Computerworld NZ got in touch with the German entrepreneur, now NZ resident, for clarification of his plans:
"[New Zealand has] clean and cheap energy ... Power is becoming the biggest cost factor for data centres around the world. With its own cable, cheap power and connectivity New Zealand could attract foreign internet businesses."
The missing piece, Dotcom believes, is bandwidth. If he were to get Pacific Fibre off the ground, Dotcom says NZ ISPs would be given access to the bandwidth for free, while business and government would have to cough up for it. According to the Computerworld NZ article, Dotcom believes a drop in NZ broadband prices would follow.
So it wouldn't be free internet for all Kiwis, but no one is going to say no to significantly reduced costs.
Well, the intent is certainly there, but does Dotcom have the resources and time to make it happen? Extradition to the US is still a possibility and you'd think it would put a bit of a downer on his plans.