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Southern Cross Completes Network - November Start

Southern Cross Completes Network for November Service Date

3 August 2000


Media Statement from Southern Cross Cable Network

Southern Cross Completes Network for November Service Date

Southern Cross Cable Network today announced that, with the completion of the terrestrial link between Hillsboro, Oregon and San Luis Obispo, California, the construction phase of the network that will enter service by 15 November 2000 is now complete.

Southern Cross Director Asia Pacific Market, Ross Pfeffer, said the completion of the network's construction meant that Australasian Internet users are just one step away from an exciting new online future.

"The wait for a fast, direct and secure link from Australasia to the heart of the Internet will soon be over. Southern Cross will provide the bandwidth capacity, low latency and fully protected network that the online world demands," he said. "Our network is about to take Australasia to a new level of Internet experience and will open up tremendous opportunities for the region."

Once operational in early November, Southern Cross will initially deliver a network incorporating a fully protected fibre ring linking Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii and a collapsed ring between Hawaii, Oregon and California.

Completion of construction means that all the cable segments required for the early November RFS Date have been successfully installed and commissioned. All nine cable stations and the Network Operation Centre are up and running. Southern Cross is currently preparing the network for its final series of tests.

PERMITS GRANTED FOR SECOND US LANDING

Mr Pfeffer said, Southern Cross had received all the necessary permits for its second landing on the US mainland at Morro Bay, California, and the company is now preparing to lay the final 9km of inshore cable to complete its second link between Hawaii and the US West Coast. This will allow Southern Cross to deliver full protection between Hawaii and the US West Coast early next year.

CAPACITY UPGRADE UNDERWAY

This will be closely followed by our first major network upgrade that will provide a substantial increase in available capacity by the end of March 2001.

"Strong customer demand means that the availability of capacity between November and March is now limited so completion of this early upgrade has been accorded the highest priority and is well underway," said Mr Pfeffer. "This strong demand for Southern Cross capacity is continuing. A record number of participants have registered for our third and final pre-service Capacity Purchase event to be held in Hawaii between 22 and 25 August," he said.

COMPLETION OF NETWORK MARKS ENGINEERING FEAT

Southern Cross is not only a significant development for the Internet and telecommunications in the Pacific region, but also a notable engineering feat.

Since commencing trans-oceanic laying of the network at Clovelly, Sydney on 8 July 1999, Southern Cross has used six cable ships to traverse the Pacific Ocean twice laying over 28,500 km of submarine cable and over 500 optical repeaters to depths of up to 7,700m.

Over 2,100 km of this cable is heavily armoured and 1,500 km has been buried in the seabed. On 21 February 2000, Southern Cross achieved a world record for the plough burial of cable in a water depth of 1,610m over the Lord Howe Rise between Sydney and Fiji.

- ENDS -

For further information visit www.southerncrosscables.com or contact:

Geoff Bilbrough Media Contact Southern Cross Cable Network Tel +64-4-4999-111 Email geoff@svl.co.nz


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