TransPacific research network upgraded to 100Gbps

Southern Cross Cable Network provides the SXTransPORT in partnership with AARNet and REANNZ

Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), REANNZ and the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) have upgraded the Southern Cross Trans-Pacific Optical Research Testbed (SXTransPORT) network linking Australia, New Zealand and the US from 40Gbps to 100Gbps to accommodate traffic growth driven by data-intensive science.

Southern Cross Cable Network provides the SXTransPORT in partnership with AARNet and REANNZ exclusively for not-for-profit research and education use. According to AARNet, this opens up opportunities for global collaboration that were previously unavailable to institutions in the Pacific region.

Southern Cross Cable president and CEO, Anthony Briscoe, said: “By extending the network to connect to REANNZ and Pacific Island Countries, the SXTransPORT project is an example of a truly exciting initiative in which all partners have worked together collaboratively to bring about great achievements for the region.”

AARNet CEO Chris Hancock said the upgrade to the SXTransPORT network was fundamental to research efforts and innovation.

The upgrade follows a demonstration by REANNZ and a number of partners of what was claimed to be the first 100Gbps research network across the Pacific, put in place in September 2014 for the GLIF 2014 conference — and annual gathering of the world’s leading high-performance network engineers — held in Queenstown.

REANNZ CEO, Steve Cotter said at the time that it was “the longest 100Gbps research network yet, spanning some 20,500km between Queenstown and California.”

AARNet said its long-term partnership with Southern Cross, together with funding from the United States National Science Foundation to the University of Hawaii, the Commonwealth and other entities, had “evolved into a truly Pacific activity, integrating the New Zealand research network, REANNZ, and connecting one of the world’s most important international astronomy sites, Mauna Kea (Hawaii Island), as well as the international observatories on Haleakala (Maui), operated by the University of Hawaii.”

AARNet said the partnership had also secured broadband connectivity for several isolated Pacific Island countries, and notably for the University of the South Pacific campuses in Fiji, Tonga and the Marshall Islands.

University of Hawaii President and CEO, David Lassner, described as “a driving force behind United States funding and the collaborative work to connect the Pacific Islands,” said the 100Gbs upgrade to the network was “another great milestone for research and education in the Pacific region.”

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