Kim Dotcom has laid out plans for free internet for all Kiwis
while claiming huge international interest in his new Mega
data storage and sharing website.
The tycoon - facing extradition to the United States to
answer internet piracy allegations - spoke to media this
afternoon saying he had just three hours of sleep in the day
leading up to the launch of his new venture.
The site was launched at 6.48am - a year after Dotcom and
three colleagues were arrested and charged with copyright
Dotcom claimed 250,000 registrations within hours. He said
the surge of interest initially caused huge capacity
The website offers cloud storage with a twist - it promises
"on the fly" encryption, meaning only those uploading data
would ever know its contents. The site would effectively
operate as a Swiss vault for secrets, with users controlling
the knowledge of what it contained.
Dotcom said he hoped the success of the website would create
jobs and growth in New Zealand but the ability to place
infrastructure here was hampered by the single internet cable
coming into the country.
"It is hindering New Zealand to be any kind of player in the
internet game. At the moment there is a great wall shielding
New Zealand saying 'go away'."
Dotcom said another cable would bring down the cost of
internet use in New Zealand, which was far greater than
overseas. Another cable would also allow him to host the data
servers storing customer information in New Zealand, creating
a huge stream of outbound internet traffic.
The weight of external traffic would allow New Zealand to
charge the rest of the world, subsidising and potentially
eliminating the cost of bringing data into the country.
Dotcom said there had been an unexpected number of Mega users
who had sought out the paid-for premium accounts. Users who
sign up for the free service get 50GB of storage space but
premium accounts get faster transfer speeds, among other
He also said he eventually wanted to list the company on the
New Zealand Stock Exchange. However, he expressed concerns
about being able to stay in New Zealand long-term, saying
eventual success in his case might not be forgotten by the
government agencies acting for the US government.
- David Fisher of the New Zealand Herald