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Internet Cable Lands in North America

19 April 2000

Media Statement from Southern Cross Cable Network

Internet Cable Lands in North America

What will soon become the direct connection to the heart of the Internet for 20 million people in Australasia was landed at Nedonna Beach, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest late yesterday (NZ time). The Southern Cross Cable Network is a 29,000 kilometre submarine-fibre optic cable linking Australia, New Zealand and Fiji to Hawaii, California and Oregon.

Southern Cross is a direct response to the growth of the Internet. Australasia is one of the most online regions of the world, with both Australia and New Zealand ranking in the Top 10 of the most connected countries per capita.

Baldo Sutich, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross said, "With over 50% of all web content residing in the US, these people want fast, direct access to North America."

"Southern Cross will provide high bandwidth capacity, with transmission delay of only 70 milliseconds between Sydney and Oregon, delivering exactly what Australasian businesses need to thrive in the globalised, online world."

"Our landing points in Oregon, California and Hawaii, mean that Southern Cross will also enable US-based companies to extend their global networks to the net-hungry populations of Australia and New Zealand," Mr Sutich said.

Network Ready for Service in November 2000 The Nedonna landing begins the laying of the final section of the Southern Cross Cable Network - between Oregon and Kahe Point, Oahu - before its Ready for Service date of 15 November.

Southern Cross has already received strong demand for connections between Australasia and the United States, as well as from US carriers extending their networks to the South Pacific. Total capacity sales to date have totalled US$1.2 billion, covering network construction costs, and the remaining capacity is expected to sell quickly.

Important Oregon Supplier

The landing makes use of WCI Cable Inc's international cable landing station at Nedonna Beach, Oregon.

"WCI are a key supplier to Southern Cross," said Mr Sutich. "Their responsiveness and willingness to work with us has been impressive."

Rodney Hudspeth, Chief Executive Officer for WCI Cable Inc said, "WCI is keen to attract international telecom network projects like Southern Cross to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, with the continuing co-operation of the cities and agencies of the State of Oregon, and the Oregon Fishermen's Undersea Cable Committee."

Southern Cross Cable Network is 50% owned by Telecom New Zealand, 40% by Cable & Wireless Optus, and 10% by MCI WorldCom.

Southern Cross Cable Network is based in Bermuda and has additional offices in Wellington, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia.

- Ends -

For further information contact: Geoff Bilbrough Media Contact Southern Cross Cable Network Tel +64-4-4999-111 or +64-25-248-4999 Email geoff@svl.co.nz

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