AARNet and Southern Cross increase capacity

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Southern Cross extends SX Transport capacity Sponsorship with AARNet

Sydney, AUSTRALIA – April 18, 2012 – AARNet and Southern Cross Cable Networks (SCCN) today announced the extension of their highly successful SXTransPORT partnership to provide massive upgrades to research and education data connectivity between Australia and the rest of the world.  The partnership will see SCCN deliver dual 40Gbps circuits in 2012 and upgrades to dual 100Gbps by 2016.

This continued and far sighted commitment by Southern Cross to support Australian research and education, by connecting AARNet to the research and education networks of the world, started back in 2003 with the provision of dual 10Gbps circuits between Australia and the West Coast of the USA.

AARNet CEO, Chris Hancock said “This arrangement is believed to be a world first relative to long distance undersea bandwidth at the very highest of capacities. We’re proud to work side-by-side with Southern Cross to support international connectivity for Australian researchers. Increased international data connectivity will benefit many areas of Australian science including astronomy, climate modelling and high energy physics and demand will only increase”.

“Connecting internationally allows Australian scientists to collaborate on major international projects and make leading contributions to global science and research endeavours”.

“This quantum update will have particular benefit for astronomy and Australia and New Zealand’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array.”

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), is a next-generation radio telescope currently planned by institutions from over 20 countries. The SKA will be the largest and most capable radio telescope ever constructed, expanding our understanding of the universe and driving technological development over its 50+ year lifetime.

Comprised of 3000 dishes spread across a continent, the SKA will generate more data than any other research project in history. The existing ability to connect these dishes in real time across Australia and New Zealand makes a ‘big picture’ SKA achievable for the world.

There are a large number of factors that contribute towards project costs – most notably infrastructure and risk. The low risk associated with deploying infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand and the existence of AARNet’s thousands of kilometres of SKA-ready fibre-optic networks already in the ground, makes for a highly cost effective solution for the SKA.

Along with combining data from thousands of dishes, AARNet’s partnership with Southern Cross will enable the world’s astronomers to access the hundreds of petabytes of data the SKA will produce. This data will be housed in Western Australia and accessed by the world’s research and education networks.

Southern Cross CEO, Fiona Beck said that “Southern Cross has been a strong long term supporter of Australian Science and Research and is delighted to be the carrier of choice to support the Australasian bid for the SKA”.

Beck said “Southern Cross continues to expand its network and reduce capacity prices to support the rollout of the NBN and UFB fibre platforms in Australia and New Zealand respectively.  The last stage of our current network capacity expansion, using Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform will be completed later this year taking total current lit capacity to 2 Tb and including the use of 100Gb transmission equipment for the first time. This is our fifth expansion and we anticipate continued regular upgrades to the network to stay well ahead of demand and support the need for lower data costs”.

About AARNet
AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the company that operates Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet). It is a not-for-profit company limited by shares. The shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO.

AARNet provides high-capacity leading edge Internet services for the tertiary education and research sector communities and their research partners. AARNet serves more than one million end users who access the network through local area networks at member institutions. For further information, please visit:

About SCCN
Southern Cross is a Private company owned by Telecom NZ, Singtel-Optus and Verizon Business. It has offices in Bermuda, Wellington, Sydney and Auckland.  Southern Cross is consistently ranked the most preferred submarine cable system in the Asia Pacific Region (according to customers participating in an annual satisfaction survey conducted by Neilson).

The Southern Cross Ring Network Architecture is based on completely diverse submarine cables and landing stations. There are 10 Access points in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the US West Coast connected by 28,500 Kilometers of submarine cable using 3 and 4 fibre pairs taking lit capacity to 2.0 Tbps by December 2012.

AARNet Contact:
James Curtis
02 9469 5740