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The Southern Cross Cable Network is a vital link between Australia, New Zealand and the US. Its senior executives talk about its latest upgrade.

Southern Cross Cable Network has completed a 900gbps upgrade bringing total lit capacity to 5.8Tbps.  Southern Cross President & CEO, Anthony Briscoe, commented, 'Following on from our successes in 2015, we continue to assess our network and service offerings to determine better ways to provide our customers with access to major data centers, resiliency and self-healing, and to satisfy the increasing demand of cloud and web based services.'

'With the growing demand for services such as Lightbox, Vimeo, Netflix, AWS and Azure, the need is not just about capacity but about scalability and flexibility to meet potential demand and provide the maximum value proposition to our customers.'

He added: 'To meet these demands, we are critically focused on product and service innovation and on taking advantage of technology advances as they support this long term strategy.

'Capacity is of course critical to meet growing demand, but in this latest augmentation we have also managed to achieve a number of regional, and potentially world first touch downs.

World first
'While we have augmented our transmission by 900Gbps per segment, we have also upgraded our key Ciena 5430 nodes to 15Tbps OTN switching capability, a first for the region and a world first for a submarine cable operator as far as we are aware. Southern Cross' key switching nodes are now capable of switching over 100 times Southern Cross' original segment capacity.

'Our latest expansion has also deployed Ciena's 200Gbps per wavelength technology across our Hawaiian inter-island network in another world first in technology activation, as well as continuing to leverage Ciena's flexible grid, GeoMesh and 8D-2QAM technologies to maximize capacity and resiliency within our network while ensuring operational simplicity, scalability and evolution toward software defined networking (SDN).

Southern Cross Cable Network has deployed the Ciena 8700 Packetwave packet switching platform, augmenting its existing suite of successful Carrier Ethernet services. Briscoe said that Southern Cross continues to work closely with Ciena to take advantage of technology advances to enhance the value the Southern Cross Network can bring to its customers and support the development of high-speed broadband in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

'Southern Cross introduced Ethernet Private Line (EPL) services in 2009, one of the first submarine cable operators to do so globally, initially based on SDH technology, and later enhanced with OTN based services culminating with the activation of 100GbE services earlier in 2015,' Briscoe said.

Southern Cross CTO, Dean Veverka. Added: 'With the growth of content and cloud demand, it is not surprising that carrier ethernet based services have become hugely popular and dominate the requested capacity service types for many providers including Southern Cross.

 'The introduction of Ciena's 8700 with integrated coherent 100G WaveLogic3 line modules for this market application is yet another world first achieved by Southern Cross. Southern Cross remains critically focused on product and service innovation to continue to enhance its existing product suites to satisfy changing customer and industry demands. The deployment of Ciena's 8700 platform allows us to provide a seamless MEF CE2.0 compliant Carrier Ethernet packet offering from 1Gbs all the way through to 100Gbs.

Maximizing capacity and resilience
'Coupled with close integration to our existing Ciena photonic and switching platforms, and technologies already deployed in the network, including flexible grid, GeoMesh and 200Gbs wavelengths, the introduction of Ciena's 8700 platform helps us to maximize capacity and resiliency while ensuring operational simplicity, scalability and evolution toward future flexible capacity services such as software defined networking (SDN).

'Along with our existing key Internet data center access points such as Equinix in Sydney, CoreSite in San Jose and the Westin Building in Seattle, these developments cement the Southern Cross position as the only single system provider of highly resilient innovative international capacity solutions between key data locations in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Fiji.'

Ciena's Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific, Anthony McLachlan, said: 'Ciena's 8700 Packetwave platform enables Southern Cross to meet changing customer demands and seize new business opportunities. High bandwidth applications like video, cloud computing and machine-to-machine communications continue to put pressure on today's networks, requiring service providers like Southern Cross to deploy technologies that not only increase capacity but also provide more intelligent, adaptable networks.'

Briscoe repeated the point made previously that with a current transmission potential of 14Tbs, further improvements likely in the future and the recent extension of the system life to 2030, capacity and tenure are not an issue for Southern Cross.

'With the changing nature of the industry, and the growing importance of the Ethernet and content based solutions, the challenge for Southern Cross is to continue to focus on how we can grow and adapt to provide reliable and innovative products and solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers.' Anthony Briscoe, commented that part of the key strength of Southern Cross has been its ability to deliver seamless, highly resilient, capacity solutions to its existing Point of Presence (POP) access locations in Sydney Equinix SY1, 55 South Market San Jose (CoreSite SV1) and the Westin Building Exchange (WBX) in Seattle, along with its cable station access points in Portland and Southern California.

'Southern Cross Ethernet services coupled with our ability to deliver high bandwidth to key content locations, has been extremely popular with our customers.

Listening to our customer requirements and being able to quickly innovate and adapt to meet their growing needs is something we pride ourselves on', said Mr Briscoe.

More US PoP sites
'With that in mind, it is extremely pleasing to announce that we have been working closely with our data center and US backhaul partners and will be extending our PoP access locations to further key sites on the US West Coast, to include One Wilshire, LA (CoreSite LA1); 600 West 7th, LA (Equinix LA1); along with 529 Bryant Street, Palo Alto (Equinix SV8) and 11 Great Oaks (Equinix SV1) from early 2016.' 'Along with our existing key internet data center access points, these developments further underline Southern Cross' commitment and position as the only single system provider of highly resilient innovative international capacity solutions between key data locations in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Fiji.' 'As part of this we are also turning our minds to the future and looking at the requirements that our customers and the general market will require from the next decade, 2020 and on.' he concluded.

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