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New submarine cable for New Zealand and Pacific

A new submarine cable has been launched, bringing with it the first international fibre connections to Tokelau and Kiribati.

Southern Cross Cable launched the NEXT cable and along with it, the implementation and testing of 400GbE services across the 15,840km network.

This means that internet speed in the Pacific will increase and access to information will become faster than ever.

The NEXT cable will enable reliable connectivity between the people and communities of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands, to the rest of the world.

Work on the Southern Cross Cable in Fiji. Picture: FINTEL

It has taken just over two years to complete during the global pandemic and will become the third route in the network’s eco-system between Australasia and the USA.

The NEXT system will boost the capacity of the ecosystem by approximately 500 per cent, to around 100 terabits/second, effectively more than doubling Australia and New Zealand’s direct international connectivity capability to the USA.

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To put this in perspective, this would allow the transfer of the half petabyte of data generated from the approximate 7,500 F1 2022 car wind-tunnel model tests in 111 seconds, or just over 300 seconds to transfer the estimated 10 billion photos on Facebook.

In what is believed to be another world-first for the longest single span 400GbE services yet achieved on a submarine cable network, Southern Cross Cable in collaboration with Ciena were able to successfully commission and test the services error-free as part of the commissioning processes, paving the way for the introduction of 400GbE services between Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles.

Work on the Southern Cross Cable in Fiji. Picture: FINTEL

Ciena’s WL5e technology also helps underpin Southern Cross Cable’s sustainable upgrade path by reducing power costs and inefficiencies by more than 600 per cent on a per bit basis.

Mr Laurie Miller, CEO of Southern Cross Cable said; “The Southern Cross NEXT cable system is up and running, and the new technology and capability will support the rising demand for hyperscale bandwidth driven by cloud adoption and digitisation along with changing needs of our customers and the industry.

“As part of our future strategy, not only is NEXT the first of the replacement cables for our existing systems when they retire in 2030, it also completes a trifecta for us. Southern Cross is currently the provider of the lowest latency routes between Sydney and Auckland, along with Auckland to Los Angeles, and will now add the lowest latency route between Sydney and Los Angeles to our portfolio.”

Consisting of three diverse submarine cable routes, more than 20 access points, and over 43,000km, the Southern Cross Cable ecosystem will support high capacity and low latency routes between Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Kiribati, Hawaii, and the United States west coast.

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