Southern Cross Cable lands in San Jose

Having the Southern Cross Cable's new access point in San Jose in a building where '40% of the world's internet traffic' is routed not only doesn't worry chief executive Ross Pfeffer, it's a distinct advantage.

Having the Southern Cross Cable's new access point in a San Jose building where "40% of the world's internet traffic" is routed doesn't worry chief executive Ross Pfeffer. In fact he says it's a distinct advantage.

His comments come as Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) has announced it will commission a third landing point on the US mainland (at San Jose) in addition to Hillsboro in Oregon and Morro Bay in California.

"While it's true it's a single point of failure, we don't look at it like that,” says Pfeffer. “There are dozens of these points all over north America and really if you want to connect your network to theirs, you have to join them somewhere."

Pfeffer says while the third access point wasn't part of the original plan for the cable, it's a dynamic market and it pays to act accordingly.

"Many of our customers needed access to the networks here anyway so it makes sense to put an additional point here in San Jose."

The new point of presence is part of the continual upgrading of capacity on the Southern Cross Cable, which is in the throes of its latest round of improvement. Pfeffer says that by early 2003 the cable will be able to carry 240Gbit/s to and from the US continent.

"Australia is certainly a much larger market [than New Zealand] but don't forget about Hawaii to the US - we carry a lot of domestic traffic from Hawaii to the mainland as well."

Pfeffer says while there seems to be a lot of talk about over-supply of bandwidth worldwide, he believes SCCN is well-placed to ride out the problem.

"You had a classic rush to build lots of systems simultaneously and something had to give and it did. This part of the world and what we do are totally different propositions. We're not immune from world conditions but we're certainly better placed."

Pfeffer also isn't worried about one of his company's owners, WorldCom, trading under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"They pay their bills and it's harder for someone to pull the plug under Chapter 11. There are all kinds of safeguards and protections in place." Pfeffer says this isn't the first brush with Chapter 11 for SCCN.

"We first looked at a different building in San Jose that was operated by Enron and after they went into Chapter 11 the landlord there also went Chapter 11. In Oregon the company that manages the facility we land at there was also in Chapter 11 so it's not uncommon."