Enter the network saviour

Enter the network saviour

It's official: the Southern Cross Cable Network's trans-pacific cable network has entered service in a move touted by the company as a major milestone for the country's telecommunications.

Ross Pfeffer, director of the Asia Pacific Market, Southern Cross Cable Network, said the network will remove major bottlenecks between here and the US West Coast. The capacity is sold by Southern Cross to large regional carriers, global carriers and large ISPs.

According to Pfeffer, ISPs need the capacity the Southern Cross Network can provide. "People are going to be using much more bandwidth," Pfeffer said. "[There] are huge opportunities for people to provide services to the growing Internet community . . ."

The company has said it's passed circuits over to its customers for configuration and end-to-end testing of their own equipment and circuits. Baldo Sutich, CEO and president of Southern Cross Cable Network, said once its customers had configured their network circuits, Australians would start to feel the benefits of the bandwidth it provided.

The network is 30,500km long, and made up of two separate cables linking Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the US West Coast. When fully equipped, the network will deliver 120 gigabits per second of fully protected capacity between New Zealand and the US, which the company cites as 120 times the existing trans-Pacific capacity via the PacRim system.

At a glance

n -The Southern Cross is designed to have network availability 99.999 per cent of the time, which the company describes as equating to 50 minutes of network downtime every 10 years.

n -From July 1999 to May this year, seven cable ships laid the submarine cable system.

n -Maximum depth of the cable is 7585 metres on the Kermadec Trench between New Zealand and Hawaii.

n -The network is made up of 29,000km of submarine cable and 500 optical repeaters placed at every 40 to 70km to boost signals.

n -In addition, there is also 1500km of terrestrial cable and nine cable stations (two each in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the US mainland, and one in Fiji).

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