The Southern Cross Cable Network has commenced service with the company passing circuits over to customers for configuration and end-to-end testing of their own equipment and circuits.
Baldo Sutich, CEO and president for Southern Cross Cable Network, said: "Once our customers have configured their network circuits, users in Australasia will start to feel the benefits of the bandwidth explosion brought about by Southern Cross.
"The lighting up of Southern Cross is a milestone for Australasian telecommunications. We can now expect to see large-scale uptake of broadband access, enabling users to fully use technologies such as video and audio streaming," Sutich said.
"Users in Australasia are among the most online people in the world, but with more people spending more time online downloading more data, a large amount of bandwidth is required if they are to fully participate in the online community."
Southern Cross Cable spans the Pacific Ocean with two separate cables linking New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii and the US mainland. It has been purpose-built for the Internet and other bandwidth-hungry applications, and will be able to deliver 120Gbit/sec of fully protected capacity between Australia and North America.
The network is owned by Telecom New Zealand Ltd (50 per cent), Cable & Wireless Optus (40 per cent) and MCI WorldCom (10 per cent).