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Southern Cross Begins Trans-Oceanic Cable Laying

SOUTHERN CROSS BEGINS TRANS-OCEANIC CABLE LAYING

Australasia's newest, biggest and fastest submarine fibre optic cable, Southern Cross, lands at Clovelly Beach in Sydney tomorrow. This landing marks the beginning of six months of cable laying that will link Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the west coast of the United States.

The Southern Cross cable is purpose-built for the Internet. With over 120 gigabits/s of capacity between Australia, New Zealand and the US, Southern Cross has enough capacity to carry nearly 1.5 million simultaneous telephone conversations or a mix of voice, data and video traffic.

"This is an exciting milestone for Southern Cross," says Mr Ross Pfeffer, Marketing Director Asia Pacific. "The first of three cable laying ships is now in the water and the network is really coming to life.

"And this is just Phase One. Phase Two sees the full network completed with cable laid between California and Sydney via Hawaii and Fiji. Phase Two is expected to be completed in August 2000."

Benefits for Australasian Businesses Southern Cross Cable Network is an independent entity owned by Telecom New Zealand Limited (50%), Cable & Wireless Optus (40%) and MCI WorldCom (10%).

Roderick Deane, Chief Executive of Telecom New Zealand says "Telecom New Zealand initiated the Southern Cross project back in 1996 in response to the dramatic increase in bandwidth requirements resulting from the exponential growth in the Internet.

"Southern Cross will bring people on both sides of the Tasman and the Pacific closer together to communicate, transact business, learn and be entertained."

Alan Petts, Director International Network Services, Cable & Wireless Optus says, "In the new online world, Optus customers and Australian businesses in general need greater bandwidth. Capacity demand is focussed on the United States, with 80% of Internet hosts in America, and Southern Cross is well placed to meet this demand."

Suzanne Campbell, Managing Director of MCI WorldCom Australia says, "Our investment in the Southern Cross Cable Network highlights MCI WorldCom's commitment to providing our Australian customers with high quality, innovative voice, data and Internet services over an end-to-end managed network. It is a strategy that we are following throughout the world because of the benefits that this brings to global and local customers."

Alcatel and Fujitsu combine to manufacture Southern Cross The network is being manufactured and laid by a consortium of Alcatel Submarine Networks and Fujitsu.

"Southern Cross is one of the most advanced and longest cable networks that Alcatel has provided. The project is a boost to our Australian operations, generating 100 new jobs, and showcases our worldwide leadership in the design, manufacture and installation of submarine cable systems," says Ron Spithill, Alcatel Area President Asia Pacific.

ENDS


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