New fiber optic cable installed to meet growing demand for fast bandwidth

The country’s internet connectivity with Australia and the United States has effectively doubled in capacity with the commissioning of a new undersea cable.

The 15,840 kilometer Southern Cross NEXT fiber optic cable is being laid.
Photo: Southern Cross Cable Ltd.

The Southern Cross NEXT fiber optic cable was installed to meet the growing demand for fast bandwidth, which is being driven by cloud adoption and digitization. The new cable will allow the simultaneous streaming of more than 4.5 million Ultra HD 4k videos.

New Zealand telephone company Spark is a Southern Cross partner and its chief executive, Jolie Hodson, said the new cable brings diversity and resilience to the country’s international connections, and the bandwidth expansion will propel the country to the future.

“The SX NEXT will improve resiliency and boost international connectivity between on- and offshore data centers, delivering the high-capacity, low-latency services that so many customers need to power their businesses and operations.”

She said it would also support the development of emerging technologies such as 5G mobile services and the Internet of Things.

The 15,840 kilometer cable connects Sydney to Los Angeles with links to Auckland, Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati, and took around two years to lay and install.

It is the third link in the Southern Cross network between Australasia and the United States, and will replace existing systems from 2030.

Singaporean company Hawaiki also has a competing trans-Pacific cable, and Spark is involved, in partnership with Vodafone, in another cable connection to Australia.

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