The New Zealand segment of the Southern Cross Next subsea cable system is set to land at Takapuna Beach, Auckland, with the capacity to carry an additional 72 terabits of data per second in and out the country.
The New Zealand segment of the high-capacity cable, the local cable assets of which are owned and managed by Spark New Zealand, is expected to notably expand the capacity of New Zealand’s global connectivity.
While the cable was scheduled to officially land on the morning of 29 June, rough weather offshore reportedly delayed the landfall, according to the NZ Herald.
According to Spark and the Southern Cross Cable Network, the new cable connection will mark the largest capacity express route to ever land in New Zealand.
The Southern Cross Next cable forms a third route in the Southern Cross cable ecosystem, which broadly connects New Zealand with key markets including Australia, Fiji and the United States.
In July last year, the Southern Cross Cable Network’s Next cable system gained approval by the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to touch down at Hermosa Beach, California.
“The Southern Cross network represents a critical connectivity platform for New Zealand and Australasia,” Southern Cross CEO Laurie Miller said. “The completion of Next will interconnect New Zealand to the world via an ecosystem of 12 cable stations and eight key data centre hubs in Australia and the USA, spanning six countries and eight time-zones all inter-connected by over 45,000km of cable.
“That’s more cable mileage than the circumference of the earth, and enough to traverse the length of New Zealand over 28 times,” he added.
For Jolie Hodson, CEO of Spark, which is a founding shareholder of Southern Cross, the new infrastructure is nothing short of critical to New Zealand.
“The SX [Southern Cross] Next cable is a critical piece of infrastructure that will support the growth of technologies like 5G and IoT (internet of things), which have the potential to transform sectors such as utilities, manufacturing, and cities – boosting productivity,” Hodson said.
Southern Cross claims it has invested more than US$1.5 billion in its existing network over the last 20 years, and the Next project is a continuation of its work.
As submarine cable projects take many years to implement, the Next project represents the first step in the commissioning of the replacement cables by 2030, when the existing systems are planned for retirement, the company said.