Mega (née Megaupload) founder Kim Dotcom increasingly resembles the latter party in Pinky And The Brain: each week brings some new madcap, large-scale scheme.
Dotcom’s latest wheeze? To personally provide a free broadband service for every home in New Zealand. As The Guardian report, Dotcom has proposed funding the plan using money gained from suing the US government and major American film studios.
In previous years, New Zealand communications companies have discussed building a £200m fibre optic web cable across the Pacific to the US. Although such a move would supposedly doubt the country’s available bandwidth, the plans have stalled – NZ company Pacific Fibre announced in August that, contrary to initial plans, it could not fund the project.
Dotcom – who made New Zealand his adopted home in 2010 – has offered to renew the building programme, proposing that broadband would be supplied free of charge to all domestic customers. Only government and business users would be expected to pay for broadband access. Lawsuits brought against the US government and Hollywood studios for their “unlawful and political destruction” of Megaupload would fund Dotcom’s share of the project.
Dotcom issued a typically strident clarion call: “You have clean and cheap energy here. Power is becoming the biggest cost factor for data centres around the world. With its own cable, cheap power and connectivity, New Zealand could attract foreign internet business. Unfortunately, the current government wants to invest into more tarmac roads. In 10 to 15 years most people will work and shop from home. You don’t need tarmac, you need fibre!”