Just a day after newcomer Hawaiki Cable announced completion of the survey route for its planned trans-Pacific cable, incumbent Southern Cross Cable has signed a contract for the route survey for its second system, Southern Cross NEXT, plans for which were announced in September 2016. The survey contractor was not named.
In its announcement Southern Cross claimed that signing of the contract, at The PTC conference in Hawaii, just five months after plans for NEXT were announced, demonstrated strong interest from potential customers.
President and CEO, Anthony Briscoe, said: “It is … extremely pleasing that customer commitment and interest in the Southern Cross NEXT project is so strong that we have been able to achieve this [initiate the marine survey] in less than six months.”
He added: “Route planning is a very critical aspect of any submarine cable project as you would expect. Route design typically starts with a desktop survey outlining a theoretical route, which Southern Cross has completed. As support and financial commitment to a project grows, further comfort can be gained about making the necessary financial commitments required for a marine route survey.”
Briscoe then went on to talk up Southern Cross’s plans beyond NEXT: to replace its existing cable network that has been in service since 2001.
“Customer support in Southern Cross and our long-term vision is such that while our marine survey will review the planned route for the initial Southern Cross NEXT system, our overall route planning has increased to also encompass the projected second leg of the Southern Cross NEXT programme targeted at completing replacement of the existing highly redundant Southern Cross system by 2029,” Briscoe said.