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Southern Cross NEXT cable lands in Kiribati

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Southern Cross Cable Network (SX) has completed the marine lay portion of its new Southern Cross NEXT (SX NEXT) cable branch into Kiritimati, Kiribati.

The news was marked by local SX NEXT landing party, BwebwerikiNET Ltd (BNL) as well as other Kiribati Government Ministers, including president, Taneti Maamau and Tekeeua Tarati, Kiribati's Minister of information, communication, transport, and tourism development.

“Kiribati recognizes the significant impact access to high-speed and high-quality internet has on the development of a nation," said Tarati in a recent release by the ADB.

"information and communication technologies have enormous potential for socio-economic development, especially in cross-sectoral development across both the private and public sectors, be it health, education, agriculture, tourism, governance, finance, disaster management, and climate change.” 

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The ceremony also featured pre-recorded speeches delivered by Leah Gutierrez, director general of for the Pacific at ADB and Laurie Miller, CEO of Southern Cross Cable.

“Our commitment to the Southern Cross NEXT project allow us to efficiently continue to service the growing needs of the Pacific," said Miller.

"The flexibility that Southern Cross Cables offers ensures BNL will receive low latency connectivity from Kiritimati to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the US. BNL’s involvement with the Southern Cross NEXT project will provide key infrastructure enabling Kiribati’s Government sectors to develop and enable ‘next level’ initiatives such as telemedicine and remote learning support.”

The system is due to become ready for service in July 2022, at which point high-speed internet services will be available to Kiritimati users, and will be the first fibre-optic submarine cable connection for Kiribati.

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In related news, earlier this month Southern Cross confirmed that its Southern Cross NEXT cable will land in Coogee, New South Wales, later this month.

Announced in 2019, the SX NEXT cable will expand the capacity of Australia’s global connectivity, delivering an additional 72Tbps. Connecting Australia, New Zealand and the US via pacific islands Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati, SX NEXT will deliver high-speed connectivity and low latency between countries.

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