Southern Cross NEXT, Equinix Linking Australia and New Zealand with the U.S.

Equinix Inside

Equinix has extended its agreement with Southern Cross Cables to offer a U.S.-based interconnectivity access point for the Southern Cross NEXT (SX NEXT) subsea cable system. This was done in conjunction with Equinix’s listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The cable network operator would be able to benefit from speedy provisioning and cost reductions because to SX NEXT’s utilization of Equinix’s cable landing station (CLS) architecture.

Today, less than one percent of the remaining traffic in intercontinental telecommunications is handled using satellite systems, while ninety-nine point one percent of the traffic is transferred through submerged fiber-optic cables. Equinix and Southern Cross are dedicated to preserving low-carbon footprints of subsea cables by designing for sustainability and accepting common criteria, as advocated by Sustainability Subsea Networks. This is in response to the continuing rise in demand for a digital economy with low latency.

The SX NEXT cable, which connects into Equinix‘s LA4 Los Angeles International Business Exchange (IBX) data center, would provide a route with the lowest possible amount of latency between Australia and New Zealand to Los Angeles in the United States. Due to Equinix’s worldwide footprint, competence in delivering state-of-the-art subsea infrastructure, and access to dense, rich ecosystems of networks, clouds, and financial and IT service providers, Southern Cross has maintained a long-term partnership with Equinix.

The installation of the SX NEXT cable would improve network performance across all sectors in the area and increases the aggregate capacity of Southern Cross’ already established Trans-Pacific ecosystem by about 500%. In addition, Southern Cross makes use of Platform Equinix to provide on-ramps to the Southern Cross network ecosystem in the SY1 and SY5 Sydney data centers, in addition to the SV1and SV8 Silicon Valley data centers, and the LA1 data center in Los Angeles.

Customers are now able to take advantage of this low latency, secured, 400G data center inter-connections between Equinix facilities in Sydney, Australia and the West Coast of the United States, thanks to the availability of 400GbE (Layer 1 and 2) capacity earlier this year on the Southern Cross network.

“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,” said Craige Sloots, Director, Marketing & Strategy, Southern Cross. “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 minimize 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.”

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Cinturion - undersea cables

Subsea Cable Projects

Since entering the market in 2015, Equinix has won 50 subsea cable projects. The need for additional capacity between Australia and the United States would be driven by increased demand for cloud services, content and digital media, and ecommerce capabilities. This is a sign of the growing maturity of the Australian digital economy, according to Equinix.

More than 50 Equinix metros are now CLS enabled, which means that Equinix’s data centers are close enough to the coast to be able to support a CLS deployment. In 2022, roughly 78 percent of all bandwidth use will come from content providers, making them the most important consumers of trans-Pacific bandwidth. It wasn’t until 2015 that they started seeing an increase in demand; before to that, internet backbone providers had the lion’s share of the industry, stated Equinix.

Trans-Pacific demand has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 41% over the past five years, which is significantly more than the CAGR of internet backbone providers, which is 26%. Since then, the demand gap between the two has continued to widen as content providers have maintained their rapid growth over the years.

The government of Australia made the announcement in 2021 that it would be spending an extra A$1.2 billion in order to build Australia’s digital economy by the year 2030. This additional investment would include investments in infrastructure, skills, cybersecurity, laws, and digital commerce.

According to the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2023, which is an annual market study published by Equinix, the global interconnection bandwidth, which is the measure of private connectivity for the transfer of data between organizations, is forecast to reach 27,762+ terabits per second (Tbps) by 2025. This represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40%, which is equivalent to 110 zettabytes of data exchanged annually.

“As bandwidth reaches unprecedented levels, the volume of subsea cable construction has reached its highest point in the 165-year history of this medium,” said Jim Poole, Vice President, Business Development, Equinix. “Major projects are bringing 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, with an opportunity to help boost the digital economy in those regions.”