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Dawn Of A New Technological Age For New Zealand

Telecom Chief Executive Theresa Gattung today heralded the lighting up of the NZ$2.2 billion Southern Cross submarine cable as a great day for New Zealand.

Ngati Whatua hosted a moving dawn ceremony this morning on Auckland's Takapuna Beach, to commemorate the event and mark the dawning of a new technological age for New Zealand.

"The completion of the Southern Cross Cable ensures that New Zealand businesses and communities can continue to develop the economic and social possibilities created by the global online revolution," Ms Gattung said.

"New Zealand businesses - big or small, selling services or products - can contribute to the national export drive by going online. The bandwidth provided by the Southern Cross cable is integral to enabling New Zealand businesses to operate in the New Economy and to go directly to markets vastly larger than our own.

"E-commerce and the Internet are at the core of the new business environment and central to this is the surging demand for bandwidth Southern Cross will provide.

"While it seems patently obvious today, five years ago it took visionaries at Telecom to make an entrepreneurial decision that required real guts and foresight. We committed more than $NZ1 billion to a project that would yield an up to 120-fold increase in the capacity available through the existing PacRim East cable network.

"Telecom's 50% share in the 30,500 km Southern Cross cable project represents New Zealand's biggest corporate investment and is also a unique international venture between Telecom and the other cable owners, Cable and Wireless Optus (40%) and MCI Worldcom (10%).

"Telecom's Southern Cross cable investment is a great example of making the digital revolution a reality for our country. The Southern Cross Cable will bring people closer together on both sides of the Tasman, in the United States and beyond to communicate, learn and be entertained," Ms Gattung said.


SOUTHERN CROSS FACT SHEET

 The Southern Cross cable network is 30,500 kilometres in length
 500 repeaters are placed along the length of the cable at intervals of 40-70km to "boost" the optical signals
 The cable is based on optical fibres, set in a steel tube and coated in jelly to protect them from water penetration and hydrogen. This is protected by high-strength steel and surrounded in seam-welded copper to form the composite conductor. Additional layers of galvanised steel wires are incorporated in the cable where necessary to protect the cable on the ocean floor
 For most of the cable's length it is only 18 mm in diameter
 The maximum depth the cable is laid at is 7685 metres between Takapuna Beach and Hawaii
 At the core of the cable, up to eight strands of glass, each less than the width of a human hair, carry enough traffic to allow for every man, woman and child in New Zealand to simultaneously make a phone call across the cable with plenty of capacity to spare
 The cable and associated equipment was manufactured at Alcatel and Fujitsu plants in Australia, Japan, France, Italy and the United States
 The network is capable of operating at 120Gbit/s between Australasia and the United States, and across the Tasman
 Wherever feasible, the cable is plough buried in depths of less than 2000 metres. For the remainder of the cable's journey, the cable lies on the seabed.
 The Southern Cross cable's availability is designed to be better than 99.999%. This equates to a maximum of 50 minutes of network down-time every 10 years

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