IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
Equinix is Southern Cross NEXT Subsea cable's gateway
Wed, 27th Sep 2023

Equinix expands its partnership with Southern Cross Cables as a vital U.S. interconnectivity point for the SX NEXT submarine cable system.

SX NEXT will leverage Equinix's next-generation cable landing station (CLS) architecture, enabling rapid provisioning and cost savings for the cable network provider. 

Today, 99% of intercontinental telecommunications traffic is transmitted via submarine fibreoptic cables, with less than 1% of the remaining traffic carried through satellite systems.

As demand continues to increase for a low-latency digital economy, especially with the value placed on artificial intelligence (AI), Equinix and Southern Cross are committed to maintaining low-carbon footprints of subsea cables by designing for sustainability, and embracing shared metrics, as recommended by Sustainability Subsea Networks. 

The SX NEXT cable offers the lowest latency path from Australia and New Zealand to Los Angeles in the U.S., connecting to Equinix's International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre in Los Angeles (LA4). 

Southern Cross has had a long-term relationship with Equinix due to its global presence, expertise in providing subsea infrastructure and access to dense, rich ecosystems of networks, clouds, financial and IT service providers. 

The SX NEXT cable enhances network performance across industries in the region and boosts the aggregate capacity of Southern Cross' existing Trans-Pacific ecosystem by approximately 500%.

Southern Cross also utilises Platform Equinix to provide critical on-ramps to the Southern Cross network ecosystem at SY1 and SY5 in Sydney, Australia, as well as SV1, Silicon Valley and SV8, Palo Alto, and LA1, Los Angeles in the U.S. 

With the release of 400GbE (Layer 1 and 2) capability on the Southern Cross network earlier this year, customers can now take advantage of the lowest latency, secure 400G Data-Centre inter-connections between key Equinix facilities in Sydney, Australia, and the U.S. West Coast.

Craige Sloots, Director of Marketing & Strategy, Southern Cross, says: "We place high value on working with an industry leader that not only has a significant global presence but understands the intricacies of business in the Pacific region." 

"Equinix's deep industry knowledge and robust digital ecosystems, where businesses come together to exchange data, unlock collaboration opportunities, and form new markets, enables us to provide innovative technology and network solutions to minimise latency and improve performance for our customers." 

"Trans-Pacific subsea connectivity will continue to be a key enabler in the region for many years to come, and we're excited about this next phase of interconnection through our work with Equinix," says Sloots. 

Tim Stronge, VP of Research, TeleGeography, says: "Bandwidth demand continues to rise rapidly on the Trans-Pacific route. Between 2014 and 2018 alone, used capacity more than quadrupled from 16 Tbps to 69 Tbps, and demand experienced a threefold increase from 2018 to 2022, with the route utilising over 260 Tbps of capacity last year alone." 

"With the ever-increasing demand for data transmission and the burgeoning digital economies of the Asia-Pacific region and North America, subsea cables are becoming critical infrastructure."

"These undersea networks are designed to handle immense data volumes at lightning-fast speeds, facilitating seamless international communication and powering the growth of industries like cloud computing, e-commerce, and digital entertainment." 

"As technology advances and new players enter the field, the trans-Pacific subsea cable landscape continues to evolve, promising even greater connectivity and opportunities for innovation in the years to come," says Stronge. 

Jim Poole, Vice President, Business Development, Equinix, says: "As bandwidth reaches unprecedented levels, the volume of subsea cable construction has reached its highest point in the 165-year history of this medium."

"Significant projects bring new capacity into emerging and high-growth markets such as Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And in well-established subsea cable corridors, including the Pacific, there's new construction to keep up with the growing demand." 

"By supplementing existing trans-Pacific routes, the Southern Cross NEXT cable provides seamless and accelerated interconnection across Platform Equinix, boosting the digital economy in those regions," says Poole.