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The Southern Cross Cable network has increased capacity and dropped its prices by 44 percent to keep up with competitive projects.

Southern Cross told customers of availability of the first 200 Gigabits of capacity from its latest upgrade, along with the price reduction. The antipodean cable consortium also announced the deployment of 100 Gigabits per second transmission equipment by December this year.

This will mark the cable’s fifth major capacity upgrade since 2001. After trialling a number of systems, in October 2011 Southern Cross signed a two stage capacity upgrade contract to deploy Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 5400 Reconfigurable Switches as well as Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management Systems.

“We continue to keep well ahead of the rapidly expanding needs of hi-speed broadband users in both Australia and New Zealand by increasing supply and reducing prices” says Ross Pfeffer, Southern Cross Sales and Marketing Director.

Pfeffer claims that the $US1.4 billion cable, originally deployed in 2000, is a major regional asset that now provides the international platform for Australia's NBN and New Zealand's UFB.

“Our network's total lit capacity is now 1.4 Terabits per second. By March it will increase to 1.6 Terabits and by December to 2.0 Terabits. We have the potential to go to at least 6 Terabits per second by December next year, about 25 times higher than the original design capability in 2000, and our potential is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years,” Pfeffer said.

The new pricing is the third largest decline in the cable’s history. “With lower marginal capacity cost we have reduced our prices to the US from both New Zealand and Australia by 44 percent”, says Pfeffer. He revealed that demand growth has averaged around 35 per cent over the last 11 years and in the last year has exceeded 40 per cent.

“While we are confident that our future upgrades will support much higher demand growth we will continue to monitor developments closely as part of our normal upgrade versus build evaluation process, to ensure that our network is always ahead of the game,” he said. ®

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