Telstra snaps up 25% of Australia’s next 72 Tbps undersea cable

Australia connects to the rest of the world through a few high-bandwidth undersea cables. Each new cable expands our redundancy and potential connection speed. The latest undersea cable is the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN).

This week, the project reached an important milestone, moving from planning and approvals to construction. With regulatory approvals obtained the construction of the Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable will begin soon.

Southern Cross NEXT represents a network investment of around US$300 million by Southern Cross and is designed to carry 72 Terabits per second of traffic, the equivalent of simultaneously streaming 4.6 million Ultra-high definition movies, ensuring Southern Cross can cater for its customers’ growing data requirements well into the future.

Telstra has also purchased a 25% stake in SCCN. Holding a quarter of the shares of the cable, they join existing shareholders Spark, Singtel and Verizon.

Telstra Enterprise Group Executive, Michael Ebeid, said Telstra’s investment in the NEXT cable will deliver benefits to all its customers – from enterprise to wholesale and consumer. “With 80 per cent of all the internet traffic to Australia coming from the US, a high speed, low latency direct route to North America is a very important investment for our business and our customers,”

“Southern Cross builds on our existing footprint across Asia Pacific where we carry 30 per cent of the region’s active capacity. We are now even better placed to meet our customers’ future data requirements right across Asia Pacific.”

Telstra Enterprise Group Executive, Michael Ebeid

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will build the new high capacity express route which, once complete, will be the lowest latency path from Australia and New Zealand to the United States.

Southern Cross NEXT will provide data connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles and is scheduled for completion by January 2022. The new route will also provide critical international cable connectivity to the Pacific Islands of Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati.

“The Southern Cross network provides critical connectivity between New Zealand and Australia, the Pacific Islands, and the USA.  Southern Cross NEXT will ensure this network Cross can continue to provide that connectivity for the region, and meet our customers’ increasing data demands, for decades to come.”

Spark Chief Financial Officer David Chalmers welcomed Telstra as a shareholder in Southern Cross

Connecting continents is not easy, or cheap as the new connection features a massive 13,483 kilometres of cable. It has been developed as an extension of the existing Southern Cross two cable eco-system.

Southern Cross NEXT customers will have the flexibly to assign new and existing capacity across three routes across the Pacific, connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the United States, maximising diversity and resiliency. 

“Our investment in the Southern Cross NEXT cable is a timely reinforcement of our global network infrastructure. Together with the newly completed INDIGO submarine cable system, the enhanced Southern Cross cable ecosystem will be a new data superhighway connecting Southeast Asia to the United States, providing greater network diversity. The new cable system will enable Singtel and Optus to accelerate the roll-out of next-generation technologies that rely on low latency and high-bandwidth connectivity, reinforcing our position as one of the leading providers of international data services in the region.” 

Singtel Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise Mr Ooi Seng Keat

“The achievement of CIF is the result of a massive amount of effort by Southern Cross and the Sponsor teams over many months on the project. The addition of the new Southern Cross NEXT route to the existing platform will provide existing and future customers with further resiliency and connectivity options between Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

We are delighted to have successfully achieved this key milestone, and all focus will now turn to the timely implementation of the new system, and the continued development of product enhancements to meet our customers growing and changing requirements.”

Southern Cross’ President and CEO Mr Laurie Miller

With significant work already completed including pre-sales, marine survey, landing arrangements, Pacific Island agreements, detail design and the cable RFT, the Southern Cross NEXT project is well positioned to meet its target completion date of January 2022.

More information at Telstra.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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