Work begins on NEXT subsea cable in Los Angeles

Created July 21, 2021
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Pacific Carriage Limited Inc (Delaware), operator of the Southern Cross Cable Network in the USA in collaboration with Pioneer Consulting, have started work on the Los Angeles landing of the 15,857.8 km (9,854 miles) trans-Pacific Southern Cross 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 US$350 million Southern Cross NEXT cable will provide 72Tbps of capacity and is claimed to 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 miles) of cable – greater than the Earth’s circumference.

Southern Cross CEO Laurie Miller says, “The completion of NEXT will interconnect Oceania to the key content centres in the USA and is a significant technical achievement marking arguably the longest single span submarine cable segment ever achieved to date. 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. Pioneer Consulting was awarded the shipboard contract in February 2021.

“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 honoured to have played a role in this pivotal project.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.