Work on the South Pacific Humboldt Cable is continuing, with Chile's government-owned Desarrollo Pais (National Development) infrastructure fund and Hawaiki owner BW Digital subsidiary H2 Cable issuing requests for proposals for the subsea data link.
Humboldt was announced in May this year, and will go from Chile's second-largest city Valparaiso to Sydney.
Desarrollo Pais said the technical definition of the route and schedules for execution are now being set, with suppliers asked to that their proposals follow the Open Cable System model.
That model disaggregates the "wet" plant (the submarine cable) from the rest of the infrastructure, giving customers the chance to choose their own submarine line terminal equipment (SLTE) and modems.
The 14,810 kilometre cable will also have a 2000 kilometre branching unit reaching Scott Base in Antarctica, to provide researchers with high-speed network connectivity for data intensive work.
Hawaiki Group's International Connectivity Servies will design the Humboldt Cable, estimated to cost US$400 million (A$573 million) to build.
It will be designed to accommodate branching units to New Zealand and South Pacific territories like Juan Fernández.
The company said in May this year that NEC would build the Humboldt Cable, with funding from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Japan ICT Fund.
"We can confirm that H2 Cable and DP are seeking - via the RFP - proposals from various suppliers needed to build the Humboldt Cable, but that none have been selected yet," BW Digital chief executive Remi Galasso told CRN NZ when asked if NEC and the Japanese founders were still involved in the project.