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New Zealand's internet capacity set to double with biggest ever submarine cable

The cable will connect to Australia and the US carrying data at 72 terabits/sec

New Zealand has installed its largest internet capacity cable to date, which is set to double its internet capacity once it is completed next year.

The Southern Cross NEXT cable (SX NEXT), a joint venture between Southern Cross and Spark NZ, launched from Takapuna beach in Auckland on Tuesday. It will carry an additional 72 terabits of data per second in and out of the country, making it the largest capacity express route to ever land in New Zealand.

The companies said that this represents an almost 100% increase in the country’s international connectivity and is the equivalent of streaming more than 4.5 million Ultra HD 4k videos at the same time.

SX NEXT will form a third route in the Southern Cross cable ecosystem and connect New Zealand with Australia, Fiji, and the US. The cable will also provide high-capacity fibre links for the remote islands of Tokelau and Kiribati, connecting them to the network.

“Being geographically isolated like we are in New Zealand means there’s never been a greater need to invest in our technology infrastructure and grow our global digital connectedness,” said David Clark, minister for Digital Economy and Communications for New Zealand. “Technology like this is critical for New Zealand to form stronger international partnerships that unlock valuable data volumes and drive innovation forward."

Laurie Miller, Southern Cross CEO, revealed that the SX NEXT cable is set to be completed early next year and will connect New Zealand “to the world” via an ecosystem of 12 cable stations and 8 key data centre hubs in Australia and the US, spanning 6 countries and 8 time-zones, all interconnected by over 45,000km of cable.

“That’s more cable mileage than the circumference of the earth, and enough to traverse the length of New Zealand over 28 times,” he said.

In May, Reliance Jio announced it would construct the largest international submarine cable system centred on India to support the growth in data demand across the region.

The systems are set to provide over 200Tbps of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometres, and the company claims it is the first time in the history of fibre optic submarine telecommunications that India has been placed at the centre of the international network map.

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