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Southern Cross Lands At Takapuna

5 September 1999

Joint Media Statement from Southern Cross Cable Network, Telecom New Zealand, Cable & Wireless Optus, MCI WorldCom, Alcatel and Fujitsu.

SOUTHERN CROSS LANDS AT TAKAPUNA. TWO SHIPS NOW IN THE PACIFIC.

The Southern Cross cable was landed at Takapuna, Auckland today from the cable-laying vessel, CS Innovator. The Innovator now begins laying the Auckland-Hawaii segment of the network. It will be joined in the Pacific by both the Vercors and the Nexus, which yesterday completed a cable landing at Spencer Beach, Hawaii and is now heading south towards New Zealand.

The Innovator left Sydney on 8 July and completed the trans-Tasman segment on 31 August when it connected to cable laid earlier from Muriwai on the western coast of New Zealand. Southern Cross' Trans-Tasman link will offer initial capacity of 120Gbit/s - over 80 times that of the existing cable, Tasman 2 - and can be upgraded to 480Gbit/s.

Initial service is expected by mid 2000 and, when completed, Southern Cross will offer 120Gbit/s of protected capacity between Australasia and the United States.

"The network is now taking shape," says Ross Pfeffer, Marketing Director Asia Pacific for Southern Cross. "With the Sydney-Auckland segment now complete and two ships at work in the Pacific, Southern Cross is moving closer and closer to California. And this is just Phase One. Phase Two delivers a second connection between California and Sydney via Hawaii and Fiji."

"Southern Cross is the only cable network that will provide businesses with the large amounts of bandwidth they desperately need for the Internet and data transmission. Southern Cross takes the direct route to the heart of the Internet and will provide fully protected capacity at affordable prices. That's what's so appealing to our customers."

Southern Cross delivers benefits for Australasian Businesses 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, "New IP connection requirements mean that Optus customers and Australian businesses need greater bandwidth as the nature of the telecommunications business shifts from voice to data oriented products. With demand for IP focused on the USA, Southern Cross is best placed to meet this demand and capacity supply."

Suzanne Campbell, Managing Director of MCI WorldCom Australia says, MCI WorldCom's local-to-global-to-local strategy is to provide customers with high quality, innovative voice, data and Internet services over an end-to-end managed network. "The Southern Cross Cable Network is an important component of this strategy, one that will deliver great benefit to our Australian and New Zealand business customers."

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

Alcatel and Fujitsu combine to manufacture Southern Cross The submarine fibre optic system is being manufactured and laid by a consortium of Alcatel Submarine Networks and Fujitsu. Mark Giles, General Manager for Alcatel in New Zealand says, "Southern Cross is one of the most advanced and longest submarine cable systems that Alcatel has provided. Most of our international R&D in recent years has been focused on internet-related equipment and services and we are delighted to have a key role in this new milestone for New Zealand's participation in the online world."

Stan Baker, New Zealand Telecommunications Manager for Fujitsu, says that "as a major supplier of long distance fibre optic technology to each of Telecom New Zealand, Cable and Wireless Optus, and MCI WorldCom individually, Fujitsu is proud of the continued faith that has been placed in it. Fujitsu is therefore extremely pleased that its submarine systems technology and skills will contribute to the realisation of the Southern Cross Project and the new business opportunities which its implementation will create.

- ENDS -


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