The two companies say that the model they have adopted allows partners to complement each other's expertise and resources while reducing costs and risks, and has been proven through a number of successful precedents including the $US300m Unity cable connecting Japan and the US, where Pacnet was the largest investor with ownership of two of the five fibre pairs.
Pacnet and Pacific Fibre say they will begin the process of selecting a vendor to build the new cable shortly and will announce the award of the contract in the coming months. The new cable is expected to be ready for service in 2013.
However the configuration could change before the design is finalised, Pacnet CEO, Bill Barney said: "We are at the point where we have agreed to fund the cable but there could still be changes in design: we could add branches in some places. Those are small and inexpensive changes'¦Our cables typically have four to eight fibre pairs, with some providing what we call and express route in that they do not have drop off points along the way."
Barney added: "After we launched the Unity cable Bharti, Google, SingTel and KDDI joined us. So it is quite likely someone else will join us on this one'¦We started with one fibre pair and we ended up with five'¦With hindsight I think we should have added even more fibre pairs'¦An additional pair only adds about 10 to 20 percent to the cost."