Pacific Carriage Limited Inc (Delaware), operator of the Southern Cross Cable Network in the USA (“Southern Cross”), an independent submarine capacity provider of connectivity from the USA to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, in collaboration with Pioneer Consulting, the full-service submarine fiber optic telecommunications consulting and project management company, have commenced the Los Angeles landing of the 15,857.8 km (9,854 mile) trans-Pacific Southern Cross NEXT (“SX NEXT”) submarine cable system that connects to Sydney and Auckland with branches linking Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati.
With overall project completion expected in early 2022, the $350 million Southern Cross NEXT cable will provide 72Tbit/s of capacity and will be the largest and lowest-latency submarine cable system ever built between Sydney and Los Angeles. The new route will add to the existing Southern Cross network ecosystem, which includes 12 cable stations and eight major datacenter hubs in Australia and the US. 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.
Southern Cross CEO Laurie Miller says the SX NEXT cable, once completed early next year, will further enhance Southern Cross’s fully diverse network ecosystem and help provide more solutions for the evolving demand between the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.
“The completion of NEXT will interconnect Oceania to the key content centers in the USA and is a significant technical achievement marking arguably the longest single span submarine cable segment ever achieved to date,” Miller said. “This enhancement of the Southern Cross network will allow us to continue to evolve and provide resilient high-capacity connectivity solutions to key markets in the USA.”
Pioneer Consulting served as shipboard representatives on the project, supervising cable loading, freighter transfer, laying operations, post-lay inspection and burial, and shore-end landings. Pioneer Consulting also supports Southern Cross in a comprehensive senior consulting capacity, which has included a range of responsibilities such as market analysis, survey oversight, route engineering, turn-key procurement and contract review, contractor coordination, COVID-19 risk analysis, project management, manufacturing audits, and quality assurance.
“We’re proud to bring a full suite of Pioneer’s services to this project, to reach this tremendous milestone, and to have collaborated with Southern Cross to achieve unprecedented connectivity across the Pacific,” said Gavin Tully, Managing Partner at Pioneer Consulting. "Multiple countries along the route will benefit from the fastest, most reliable broadband access ever to be available to them. Southern Cross NEXT paves the way for wider utilization of 5G and IoT, and Pioneer is honored to have played a role in this pivotal project.”