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Southern Cross Cable launches the SX NEXT cable to connect NZ to the world

By Mitchell Hageman
Thu 7 Jul 2022

A new submarine cable has been launched, looking to further connect Aotearoa to the world. The new Southern Cross NEXT fibre cable (SX NEXT) is set to connect Australasia to the US and further enhance connectivity between New Zealand, Australia, and the US.

In line with increased demand for hyperscale bandwidth driven by cloud adoption and digitisation, the cable will boost the capacity of New Zealand's global connectivity, carrying an additional 72 Terabits of data per second. This will effectively double New Zealand's direct international connectivity capability to the USA.

Southern Cross Cable says an example of the cable's capability is that it would allow for the streaming of more than 4.5 million Ultra HD 4k videos simultaneously. It is 15,840km long and runs from Sydney to Los Angeles with links to Auckland, Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati.

It also becomes the third route in the Southern Cross network ecosystem between Australasia and the USA, and it is a project that has taken just over two years to complete amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The new NEXT system is up and running and a core part of our strategy providing new technology and capability that will support the growing and changing needs of our customers and the wider industry," says Southern Cross Cables Limited CEO Laurie Miller.

"Not only is NEXT the first of the replacement cables for our existing systems when they retire in 2030, it also completes the 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."

Spark (which is a founding shareholder in Southern Cross) CEO Jolie Hodson says the new development will help increase operations across New Zealand, providing customers with lower latency and better working solutions.

The SX NEXT will improve resilience and boost international connectivity between on and offshore data centers, delivering the high capacity and low latency services so many customers need to power their businesses and operations," she says.

"Were excited to be able to offer this additional capacity to our wholesale customers and see this investment as an important enabler of the growth of emerging technologies like 5G and IoT."

The current Southern Cross ecosystem supports three diverse submarine cable routes with more than 20 access points and spanning over 43,000km. The routes are active between Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Kiribati, Hawaii, and the United States West Coast.

The network is the only independent submarine capacity provider of fully protected connectivity solutions out of New Zealand.

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