In a surprise move, New Zealand telco Kordia has rejected suggestions that it has given up on the idea of building a trans-Tasman communications cable, dubbed ‘Optikor’. Despite CEO Geoff Hunt appearing to rule out the initiative in July, as a result of Pacific Fibre’s rival trans-Pacific cable, strategic development manager Susie Stone announced this week that Kordia is finalising its plans for a landing station in Australia and continues to seek commitments from customers. Optikor, which was originally scheduled to link up with a cable built by Australia’s Pipe International between Sydney and Guam, found its connectivity options limited when Pipe International was sold to TPG Telecom for AUD373 million (USD2.5 million) in March 2010.
Pacific Fibre has estimated that its cable would cost in the region of USD400 million, whereas Kordia’s Optikor has been priced at USD100 million. Unlike Pacific Fibre’s cable, Optikor would not provide a direct connection to the US. Despite Hunt’s dismissal of his own cable – which has been gestating for approximately 18 months, neither cable has actually been confirmed as of yet; both investments remain dependent on the companies involved securing financial commitments from customers willing to purchase capacity. Pacific Fibre chief executive Mark Rushworth commented: ‘What Kordia is doing or not doing doesn’t change our business. I imagine in the end sense will prevail and we will find some way of working together’.