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Southern Cross Cable Network gains FCC approval for new system

The Southern Cross Cable Network’s NEXT cable system is set to go ahead following the US Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) landing license approval.

The new system will land at Hermosa Beach, California, and interconnect into Southern Cross’ existing data centre locations in Los Angeles (Equinix LA1 and CoreSite LA1), and Silicon Valley (Equinix SV1, Equinix SV8 and CoreSite SV1).

The US$350 million Southern Cross NEXT project will be a high capacity express route, providing the low latency data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles, as well as connections to Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati.

The NEXT project will land at Coogee Beach in Sydney, Australia, and Takapuna Beach in Auckland, New Zealand, with shore end facilities complete.

Southern Cross recently awarded a contract to DXN to build modular cable landing stations at its landing sites across the Pacific Islands.

The system will be a 4 fibre pair undersea route which has been developed as an extension of the existing Southern Cross ecosystem, allowing NEXT customers to leverage Southern Cross’ extensive Point Of Presence (POP) and access infrastructure that is already in place, as well as flexibly assign capacity across the three routes.

The new route is designed to carry more than 70 terabits of traffic. Services offered on the new system will be an extension and integration of those offered across the current Southern Cross platform.

Southern Cross Cable Network president and CEO Laurie Miller says, “Obtaining licencing approval is a significant achievement for the project and the Southern Cross team, particularly in these turbulent times.

“The ability of our team and consultants and suppliers to not only minimise project delays but continue to achieve these significant milestones ahead of schedule is testament to the quality of our partners and the Southern Cross team.”

Miller says, “Despite the impacts of COVID-19 across the globe, the project team and our partners have managed to work around issues as they arise and minimise impacts to the project schedule with RFS (ready for service) targeted to be completed by Q2, 2022.

“It is an amazing result and a credit to the calibre of people we have working on the project, not only in Southern Cross, but also ASN, DXN, Pioneer and Axiom, along with our Pacific partners in Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati.”

“The existing Southern Cross system already forms a key backbone to the Pacific facilitating connections from the major data centres in Australia, New Zealand and the United States to Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia, Hawaii, Tonga and Vanuatu.

"With the completion of the Southern Cross NEXT system and the expansion of the Southern Cross connectivity to Kiribati, Tokelau and Savusavu, Fiji, Southern Cross and our partners are truly working to power connectivity in the Pacific,” says Miller.

The Southern Cross NEXT route expansion of the network has received more than US$200 million in pre-sales to date.