By David Ramli, Sydney Morning Herald

The Hawaiki submarine cable project, designed to connect high speed broadband between Australia, New Zealand and the United States, has launched a belated attempt to raise $US150 million – half of its total construction cost.

Most of the global internet's content currently comes from the United States where companies like Google and Facebook are based. Hawaiki aims to capitalise on the boom in broadband demand by connecting the West Coast of the US to the Asia Pacific region using 14,000 kilometres of fibre optic cabling strung along the ocean's floor at a cost of $US300 million.

But submarine cables connecting Australia to the world have struggled to get the funding required to start construction. This is because the existing cables have slashed prices and boosted capacity in recent years.

Hawaiki was initially launched in 2013 with the support of iiNet, TPG Telecom and several other telcos in the region with a launch date of late 2015. However, a lack of funding and sales has led to consistent delays and its most recent start date is late 2017.

In June it appointed French bank Natixis to help raise money from institutional and equity advisers without stating how much was required to fully fund the project.

“The completion of the financing will allow project implementation to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015,” Hawaiki said at the time.

But according to documents obtained by Fairfax Media, the project's ready for service date has been delayed until 2018 and Natixis has been tasked with raising up to $US150 million in equity, which represents half of the project's total cost.

Read more…