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Press Release -- February 13th, 2017
Source: southern-cross
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Voyage to the bottom of the sea will map from Clovelly to Los Angeles to deliver the NEXT Internet

  • Southern Cross and EGS to begin surveying for the Southern Cross NEXT undersea cable
  • Survey to map more than 12,500km of the seabed from Clovelly to Los Angeles
  • Will cross and survey the treacherous Tonga Trench

Sydney, Australia – 9 February 2017 Southern Cross Cables and EGS will go to sea at the end of February to begin surveying the seafloor from Clovelly to Los Angeles for the US$350 million Southern Cross NEXT undersea cable project, which will deliver the highest capacity and lowest latency Internet connection for Australians accessing US-based Internet apps.

The survey will cover more than 12,500 kilometres connecting Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, as well as several Pacific Island countries along the route. Once completed, Southern Cross Cables will begin the enormous task of laying the Southern Cross NEXT undersea cable.
Southern Cross Cables provides fast, direct, and secure international bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii to the heart of the Internet in the USA. It currently comprises two undersea cables, with the Southern Cross NEXT project providing a third high capacity link, expected to be completed in 2019. It has engaged EGS, a global specialist multi-disciplinary marine survey company, to undertake the route survey for the new link.

“There’s a common belief Internet connections in Australia are ultimately provided by satellites – that’s wrong. Australia is connected to the global Internet via thousands of kilometres of undersea cables,” said Southern Cross Cable Network President and Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Briscoe. “We have come to depend on the Internet for business, entertainment, health and education – it is now at the core of our lives, yet people don’t realise this massive communications platform runs across a cable which is barely thicker than a garden hose.
“Given the size of the cable, the nature of the undersea terrain and the vastness of our oceans, repairing that cable is a monumental task so we must ensure it is laid with minimal risk of damage. This means surveying the sea floor along the entire route to avoid any hurdles that may interfere with, or even sever, an important piece of infrastructure.”

Southern Cross’ partner on the surveying project is EGS. At the end of this journey, EGS will have conducted surveys for more than 410,000 kilometres of subsea cables which, if laid end-to-end, would circle the globe at least 10 times.

“For many countries, a single subsea cable is their only connection to the outside world, making marine surveying for these cables among the most critical infrastructure projects in the world,” said Briscoe.

The cable is expected to provide an additional 60 terabits per second of capacity for customers, adding to the existing 20 terabits of capacity of the current Southern Cross systems. Given its design and route, the Southern Cross NEXT cable will provide the quickest path between mainland United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Submarine Internet cables have been peer-reviewed to be environmentally neutral, with no negative impact on marine life across the seabed. Further, the survey will also take place after the whale migration season so the sonar instruments on board do not interfere with the communication between whales during their migration from Antarctica to Australia’s east coast and Fiji.

The marine survey vessel, the Geo Resolution, will depart from its berth at Glebe Island #1, Rozelle, to begin the survey off Clovelly.

Key facts

  • The Geo Resolution will be at sea for up to eight weeks at a time, pending weather conditions.
  • It will survey more than 12,500km of seabed, or over a quarter of the globe’s circumference.
  • The new cable will provide 60 terabits of capacity to the existing Southern Cross cable network.
  • The first submarine communications cable was launched in 1850 from England to France, spanning 20 miles (32km).
  • A traditional deep-sea submarine cable typically measures between 17mm and 21mm thick, or no thicker than a standard garden hose.
  • On completion of this survey EGS will have surveyed more than 410,000km of undersea cable routes in 40 years which, if laid end-to-end, would circle the globe at least 10 times. Put another way, the cables end-on-end would comfortably reach the moon, which is roughly 384,000 kilometres from Earth.
  • In one journey, EGS mapped two known shipwrecks touching together off the coast of Guam. Inspection of these wrecks found one was from World War I and the other was from World War II. This is the only site in the world where sunken ships from two different world wars sit touching.
  • The survey will traverse the treacherous Tonga Trench, which is the second-deepest point on Earth at a depth of 10,882m (35,702 feet). This is nothing new to EGS, which in 2015 surveyed the Mariana Trench (10,994m or 36,070 feet at its deepest point) and reached a depth of over 10,500m.

Anyone wanting to follow the ship’s journey can get daily updates via Southern Cross’ social media channels and the company’s website at www.southerncrosscables.com.

Twitter: @SXCables

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernCrossCable/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/southern-cross-cable-network

End of Release

About Southern Cross
Southern Cross Cable Network provides fast, direct, and secure international bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii to the heart of the Internet in the USA. The Southern Cross Cable Network comprises two submarine communications cables which were first commissioned in November 2000 and January 2001 at a cost of USD1.3 billion. They provide Australasian broadband users with international connections to the US West coast where global Internet hubs are located.

The Southern Cross NEXT project will be a third high capacity express route, providing data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles, and is on target for completion in 2019. Southern Cross Cable Network has offices in Bermuda, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington.  For more information visit Southern Cross at:  http://www.southerncrosscables.com.

The Southern Cross Cable Network is owned by Telecom NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%).

About EGS
EGS is a leading international group of companies and has offices in Europe, Americas, Asia and Australia and throughout South East Asia from its regional hub in Hong Kong. EGS provides global specialist multi-disciplinary marine survey support and delivers solutions to the Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, Energy & Renewables and Marine Infrastructure market sectors.

First established in the UK and shortly after in Hong Kong in 1974, EGS remains an independent company which over the last 40 years has grown into an international network of services hubs and centres of excellence. EGS also has strategic alliances with partner companies in various countries, enabling us to carry out marine surveys and studies virtually anywhere on the globe.

EGS has gained a reputation for professional excellence in the geophysics and survey sectors, being well known for our ability to find imaginative solutions to problems. Being proactive, we make sure that the service we provide is always tailored to satisfying our client's needs, which may explain why our onboard near real-time reports are being hailed as setting new standards and the benchmark in our field.

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