Cable system upgrades lead Southern Cross to lower prices

The owners of the Southern Cross submarine cable system say that the addition of 40-Gbps technology – and an ongoing transition to 100-Gbps operation – has enabled the company to cut prices on its undersea fiber-optic network.

The owners of the Southern Cross submarine cable system say that the addition of 40-Gbps technology – and an ongoing transition to 100-Gbps operation – has enabled the company to cut prices on its undersea fiber-optic network.

“We have reduced our capacity prices by another 20%,” said Sales and Marketing Director Ross Pfeffer. “This will be our tenth major price reduction since 2000 and over the period our price decline has averaged more than 22% per year.”

The 28,500-km Southern Cross undersea cable system connects Australia and New Zealand with the United States.

“It’s been pleasing to see big increases in data caps and declines in retail data cost for internet users in both Australia and New Zealand over the last year,” Pfeffer added. “Our continued initiatives to increase supply and reduce price are designed to encourage this process and to support the needs of Australia's NBN and New Zealand's UFB.”

The move to 40-Gbps is the network’s eighth major capacity expansion program since 2001; it is due for completion in February. It will increase the fiber-optic network’s lit capacity to 2 Tbps. Meanwhile, 100-Gbps capabilities are being added concurrently and are already available on some parts of the network. The 100-Gbps roll out, which will take the lit capacity to 2.6 Tbps, is expected to be completed by June 2013. Both programs use coherent transmission technology from Ciena (see "Ciena supplies 40G coherent for Southern Cross network").

“The increasing simplicity of equipment upgrades provides Southern Cross with the ability to frequently and rapidly expand capacity. We currently have the potential to go to at least 7 Tbps, about 30X higher than our original design capability,” Pfeffer said.

The owners of Southern Cross also are proud of the network’s reliability. “Our protected circuits continue to provide 100% availability and the performance of the six fiber pairs and 500 repeaters on the diverse cable network is better today than when constructed more than 10 years ago” Pfeffer asserted.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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