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Captain Kirk signs up with high speed cable venture

Thursday 24th June 2010

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Trans-pacific data cable company Pacific Fibre has scored some more big names to join its operations making it a who's who of the technology world.

Mark Rushworth, former ihug chief executive and Vodafone marketing director has been appointed full-time CEO and former Fairfax chief executive officer David Kirk has joined the board.

"My priority as chief executive is meeting with potential customers," Rushworth says. "Over the past three months I have met with Asian, Australasian and North American companies and we've been very encouraged by the response we've been getting."

Pacific Fibre was created by Sam Morgan, Sir Stephen Tindall and Rod Drury, to lay a fibre cable that will connect Australia, New Zealand and the USA. The Pacific Fibre cable will be five times the total current capacity of the existing data cable to the United States operated by Southern Cross.

Morgan, Tindall and Drury have mad a further investment in the business and a new group of seasoned investors have also taken stakes, including David Kirk, economist and investment adviser Gareth Morgan, Seaworks chairman Bill Day and MYOB founder Craig Winkler.

"This project is important for New Zealand, commercially viable and we're excited to be able to broaden our shareholder base with people who can make this happen," Drury says.

Rushworth and other Pacific Fibre executives have attended submarine cabling conferences in Japan and United States over recent months. They have met with vendors, customers and industry experts; and received strong support for the project and the need for increased competition and route diversity.

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