State-owned New Zealand communications provider Kordia is pushing ahead with a delayed plan to roll out an alternative submarine cable system linking the country with Australia across the Tasman Sea. The government previously pulled funds which had been promised for such a project, but Kordia CEO Geoff Hunt said the USD200 million needed for the rollout could be funded by its potential customer telcos, equity from Kordia and bank finance. The proposed cable would compete with the existing Southern Cross network, which is partly owned by incumbent Telecom New Zealand, and would bring down the cost of international bandwidth for New Zealanders. In Hunt’s view, the project is essential in light of the government’s recent NZD1.5 billion (USD953 million) commitment to developing ultra-fast broadband. The finalised plan, including a deployment contract with Australia’s Pipe International, will be put to the Kordia board for approval in September.