About Southern Cross

Southern Cross is a leading Australasian  supplier of international capacity to Carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Australia and New Zealand.

Southern Cross owns and operates a Trans-Pacific submarine cable network connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii to the internet backbone on the United States West Coast providing carrier neutral services to Carriers, Internet and Content Service Provider and Corporations. Southern Cross is run by a team of highly skilled management and technical people that pride themselves on delivering market relevant products and solutions, and have over 100 years of experience in the international telecommunications community.

Southern Cross and its associated companies was formed in 1997, born from an agreement between Telecom New Zealand (now Spark Trading), Optus and MFS Globenet (subsequently acquired by WorldCom) to sponsor a submarine cable link between Australasia and the United States West Coast, due to unexpected rapid growth of the Internet resulting in an imminent international capacity bottleneck for carriers in Australia and New Zealand.

Southern Cross Cables Limited and Pacific Carriage Limited are based in Bermuda. Southern Cross also has offices in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia.  Southern Cross is an independent entity and is owned by Spark Trading (50%), SingTel Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%).



 June: Additional 900Gbps of Ciena upgrade is commissioned using 100Gbps technology taking overall litcapacity to 3.6Tbs..

 November: Southern Cross offers 100G ODU-4 and 100GbE services.


 February: Additional 400Gbps (200G per segment) of Ciena upgrade is commissioned using 40Gbps technology.

 July: Southern Cross reinforces its position as one of the world leading systems deploying 100G Technology successfully along all Southern Cross segments including 8002km Segment C, increasing capacity by 400Gbps  (200G per segment).

October: Southern Cross deploys an additional 200G along all Southern Cross segments, inclreasing capacity by 400Gbps, using 100G technology.

November: Southern Cross one of the first submarine cables to offer 40GbE services and availability of 100G OTU-4 interface.


January: Initial 200Gbps of Ciena upgrade is commissioned using 40Gbps technology.

March: Additional 200Gbps of Ciena upgrade is commissioned using 40Gbps technology.

April: Southern Cross reconfirms commitment to Australian Research Sponsorship, as Southern Cross and AARNet extend their successful SX TransPORT partnership, and Southern Cross increases the capacity sponsorship to dual 40Gbps circuits.

June: Southern Cross access becomes available from Equinix SY1 facility in Sydney ( facilitating connection to one of Sydney’s key data hubs.

July: Southern Cross access is now available from the Westin Building, Seattle ( providing ease of connectivity to key North West US internet hubs.


June: 40Gbps and 100Gbps technology successfully trialled on Southern Cross network longest segments.

October: Ciena is selected to upgrade the Southern Cross network using 40Gbps & 100Gbps technology, by December 2012.


December: Southern Cross extends CUAs for interested existing customers to 2025 at no additional charge.


December: Southern Cross introduces 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet Private Line Services.


November: Southern Cross introduces the ‘Drop Restoration’ for 2-Drop North-South STM-16 and STM-64 capacity.  With Southern Cross carrying most of Australasia's internet traffic, and customers previously needing to arrange their own protection, this provides a major boost for the reliability of internet connectivity in and out of Australia.


August:  Southern Cross Cables signs a contract with Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade the submarine cable network with the latest generation of transmission equipment.

The upgrade involves the replacement of transmission equipment located in each of the 10 cable stations and the new equipment can deliver 400 Gbps per fiber pair, a tenfold increase over the equipment replaced.


October:  Bank debt that financed the construction of the network was repaid.


February: Southern Cross provide critical support for Australian Research and Education institutions through sponsorship of dual 10Gbps links for ‘SX TransPORT’ (Southern Cross Trans-Pacific Optical Research Testbed), administered by AARNet.


January: The final stage of the DWDM capacity expansion is completed.


August: Southern Cross commissions a new US access point at San Jose, California providing access for Southern Cross customers into key Internet and telecommunications markets in the United States.


January: The laying of submarine cable is completed.

February: The Hawaii-US loop is closed. The 2 cable Network is completed and capacity is now able to be fully protected.

Southern Cross announces that 10 Gbit/s DWDM technology will be applied to the Network and that it will progressively expand the network by early 2003 by equipping the third fibre pair with the new technology, bringing the total cost of the network to 1.3 billion. 


February: Southern Cross achieves the world record for plough burial of cable. On Monday 21 February the CS Vercors plough-buried the cable 0.8 metres under the seabed in water 1,610 metres deep.

March: Southern Cross takes decisive action to keep the project on track and decides to land at Nedonna Beach, Oregon, rather than Monterey, California.

May: Cable Laying of Phase1 of the network to go live on 15 November 2000 is completed.

August: Southern Cross introduces Multi-drop ring products which allow customers to drop traffic from the same ring in several countries.

November: On 15 November 2000 Southern Cross is live for Customer Service. All segments except the second link between Hawaii and the US Mainland are available for customer service.


March: Southern Cross (and other cable companies) face a longer permit process than originally anticipated and consequently experience considerable delays in securing landing rights in California.

June: Southern Cross launches the website.

July: Oceanic Cable laying starts. Over 19 months the laying operation employs the services of seven cable laying ships that successfully lay a total of 28,500 kilometres of undersea cable. A record depth was reached while laying the cable on the eastern side of Lord Howe Rise, 1,300 kilometres out of Sydney towards Fiji.
August: Southern Cross un-protected capacity product is introduced, but 97% of customers opt for protected capacity.

December: The three Southern Cross owners take on the project finance role from the Banks.


March: Following tender evaluation, Alcatel and Fujitsu are selected to construct the network. The network architecture is fixed as a triple ring network using SDH transmitting over 3 or 4 fibre pairs operating DWDM technology at 16 colours and 2.5 gigabits per colour.

May: Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Capital and ABN AMRO, are appointed as lead arrangers and underwriters to fund US$920 million of debt for the limited recourse financing of the project.

October: The final supply contract to build the Network is awarded to the Alcatel-Fujitsu consortium.

Southern Cross Cables Limited and Pacific Carriage Limited become fully funded independent companies to build and operate the Southern Cross Cable Network. The three owners are TNZ (50%), Optus, now SingTel Optus (40%) and MCI, now Verizon, (10%).

1996 -1997

Telecom New Zealand, Optus and MFS Globenet hold discussions with a number of carriers and agree to sponsor a submarine cable link between Australasia and the United States West Coast. 

October: A tender is issued to submarine cable suppliers in October 1997.

November: The first Data Gathering Meeting is held in Sydney to make pre-RFS sales that can be used to raise finance for the project. Some 26 customers sign up committing to the project should the cable proceed. Significantly a number of smaller carriers, service providers, ISPs and broadcasters also purchased. It was the first time in the region that direct purchase from a submarine cable network was open to these companies.  


Tags: Company, Corporate, History, Milestones

Contact Us

For further information about Southern Cross and Media enquiries, please contact:

Rosemay Foot


Contact Us

For further information about Southern Cross Corporate or Legal issues, please contact:

Nikki Gold


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