Pacific Fibre, the local start-up looking to build a second internet cable linking New Zealand to the world, has split from partner Pacnet and has put out a tender to have its system built.

The company, which is backed by heavyweight venture entrepreneurs Sam Morgan, Stephen Tindall, Rod Drury and Peter Thiel, has been working on the assumption it will have to build the cable on its own after a memorandum of understanding with Pacnet expired earlier this year, chief executive Mark Rushworth said in a statement.

"We have been assuming a solo-build system for several months now and remain firmly on track to finance and deliver the system in 2013," Rushworth said. "Our proposed design greatly expands capacity for carriers and multi-national businesses, and provides much-needed diversity for the region."

The 5.12 terabits a second cable system is expected to run some 13,600 kilometres across the Pacific, and will include landing stations in each country at a cost of some US$400 million.

See more about the plan here.

Pacnet owns EAC-C2C, Asia's largest submarine cable infrastructure at 36,800 km and capacity for 10.24 Tbps. It was also the largest investor in the US$300 million Unity cable connecting the US and Japan.

Pacific Fibre expects bids back in mid-May to build the cable system linking Australia, the US and New Zealand.