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Pacific Fibre snags fifth client

Pacific Fibre has signed up another foundation customer from the US, taking total sales to US$200 million and prompting it to announce a ribbon-cutting date on the cable.

Pacific Fibre has signed up another foundation customer from the US, taking total sales to US$200 million and prompting it to announce a ribbon-cutting date on the cable.

The US client, which Pacific Fibre didn't name (but is a telecommunications firm, according to an NBR story), joins Vodafone NZ,Australia's iiNet, and Research and Education Network New Zealand, who are already onboard to use the Pacific Fibre cable once built.

Pacific Fibre co-founder and chairman Sam Morgan said the deal meant the company was now bringing its fundraising to a close and expected to meet its capital financing goal in June.

“We will be cutting the ribbon on a new trans-Pacific cable in Sydney on July 16 2014 – introducing a more competitive market for international bandwidth and helping the NBN to deliver on the promise of vastly better connectivity.”

Pacific Fibre is backed by big-name Kiwi entrepreneurs Morgan, Stephen Tindall and Rod Drury, and has backing from Peter Thiel.

Last year it signed up TE SubCom to build its network, which will compete with the sole Southern Cross cable link from Australia and New Zealand to the US.

The Australian Financial Review has previously raised concerns about Pacific Fibre's ability to meet its $US400 million fundraising target.

The paper reported the federal government had banned China's Huawei from tendering on the national broadband network and was investigating the use of its technology in submarine cables. Huawei and another Chinese company, Axin, have proposed an Auckland-Sydney submarine cable.

Morgan said he had been told it would be much easier to gain Australian and US approval if a US vendor was selected, and Pacific Fibre chief executive Mark Rushworth has said it is confident in US-based TE SubCom's track record, reducing concerns around security and regulation.

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