The submarine cable system will provide 72 Tbit/s of capacity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles.

Pioneer Consulting, the full-service submarine fiber optic telecommunications consulting and project management company, along with Southern Cross, announces that the Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable project has been granted Provisional Acceptance. The culmination of the submarine segments of the cable system marks the nearing completion of a project six years in the making that will be the largest and lowest-latency route connecting Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Throughout the project, Pioneer Consulting oversaw and handled the dynamic elements of the project, including market and business case analysis, procurement and contracting, project implementation, quality assurance, and shipboard representation, ensuring the successful commissioning of the subsea system between each cable station. Granting Provisional Acceptance for the subsea system, which includes the trunk cable between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles along with branches to Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati, represents the material completion of the Southern Cross NEXT system marine program.

The Southern Cross NEXT system will provide 72 Tbit/s of capacity and will add to the existing Southern Cross network ecosystem, which includes 12 cable stations and eight major datacenter hubs in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. The Southern Cross network spans six countries and eight time zones, connected by over 45,000 km (28,000 mile) of cable – greater than the Earth’s circumference.

"This has been a truly incredible project that allowed us to demonstrate the full breadth of our submarine telecom consulting services," said Gavin Tully, Managing Partner of Pioneer Consulting. “We’re proud to have supported taking what was once an idea and helping make it a reality. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Southern Cross and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) during each crucial stage of NEXT’s development, and we eagerly look forward to the cable’s forthcoming entry into commercial service."

"We are tremendously proud to have completed this critical phase of NEXT’s development in partnership with Pioneer Consulting," said Laurie Miller, CEO of Southern Cross Cable Network. "Once activated, this high-capacity route will provide enhanced reliability and network efficiency from Los Angeles to Sydney, and all points between."

The installation of the submarine cable system was performed by Alcatel Submarine Networks, who additionally designed and manufactured the cable, repeaters, and branching units. The system is expected to initiate commercial service on July 7th, 2022.

Alain Biston, President of Alcatel Submarine Networks, said: “ASN is very proud of achieving, in spite of very difficult conditions resulting from the global pandemic, the crucial milestone of Provisional Acceptance for Southern Cross NEXT, which concludes another chapter of our long-standing partnership with Southern Cross. After building the original Southern Cross cable network more than twenty years ago, we are honored to have been cooperating again to provide more broadband connectivity to the South Pacific region, bringing into the fold several previously underserved communities.”

Gavin Tully is chairing day one of Submarine Networks EMEA in London on the 17-18 May 2022. To book your tickets visit