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Telstra buys quarter share of Southern Cross Cable Network



(Image: Southern Cross Cable Network)

Telstra is set to buy into Southern Cross Cable Network through the purchase of new shares that will give the telco a 25 percent stake in the company.

The telco has also agreed to purchase “substantial” capacity on Southern Cross’ existing network and the NEXT subsea cable.

New Zealand telco Spark said that as a result of Telstra’s share purchase, its holding will be diluted to around 37.5 percent. Other shareholders of Southern Cross are Singapore’s Singtel, and Verizon Business.

“Telstra has long been a key customer of Southern Cross and this investment will mean Telstra has an immediate ownership interest in the existing Southern Cross network, as well as in Southern Cross NEXT,” Telstra group executive for enterprise Michael Ebeid said.

“This route is extremely important to our business as US to Australia traffic accounts for more than 80 percent of all the internet traffic to Australia.”

See: How Telstra handles subsea cables during typhoons

Southern Cross announced in August last year that it will start building the $350 million NEXT submarine cable, which it touted as being the fastest between Australia and New Zealand, and the United States.

The third cable is expected to provide an additional 60Tbps capacity to the existing 20Tbps on the two present Southern Cross cables, and will be ready for service in early 2020.

In July, Southern Cross said SubPartners had completed landing arrangements in Sydney.

“Landing arrangements in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States [are] now effectively completed,” Southern Cross CEO Anthony Briscoe said at the time.

“Our partnership with SubPartners for the construction of the facilities has allowed us to leverage their expertise in the construction of similar facilities for other projects that they are involved with in the region, helping us to effectively manage cost and risk around this critical aspect of the project.”

SubPartners is currently also working on the Indigo subsea cable system connecting Sydney, Perth, Singapore, and Jakarta, which is being built alongside Google, Singtel, Telstra, AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, and Alcatel Submarine Networks and will span around 9,000km, with two fibre pairs and a design capacity of 18Tbps. It is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

In January, Southern Cross Cables announced that the Pacific islands of Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati had all signed contracts to be connected to the 60Tbps NEXT subsea cable.

Subsea cables across the globe

  • Vocus’ Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC)
  • Vocus’ North West Cable System (NWCS) between Darwin and Port Hedland, and the new Tiwi Islands spur being added
  • The Australian government’s Coral Sea subsea cable, being constructed by Vocus to connect Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands and funded through the foreign aid budget
  • Google’s Dunant transatlantic subsea cable between Virginia Beach in the United States to the French Atlantic coast
  • The Indian government’s Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar islands subsea cable, being built by NEC
  • Southern Cross Cables’ NEXT subsea cable system between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, being built by SubPartners
  • The Trident subsea cable system connecting Perth with Singapore via Indonesia
  • The Jupiter subsea cable connecting the US, Japan, and the Philippines and being built by a consortium including Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, NTT Com, PLDT, and PCCW
  • The Hawaiki subsea cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the US
  • Superloop’s Hong Kong cable
  • Telstra’s Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable between Hong Kong and the US
  • Telstra’s Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) between Hong Kong and the US
  • Google’s Japan-Guam-Australia (JGA) cable system
  • The Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) subsea cable connecting China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, owned by a consortium including China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, NTT Communications, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, StarHub, Chunghwa Telecom, CAT, Global Transit Communications, Viettel, and VNPT, and being constructed by NEC
  • The Southeast Asia Japan 2 cable (SJC2), which will have 11 landing stations in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, being built by NEC and funded by a consortium including China Mobile International, Chunghwa Telecom, Chuan Wei, Facebook, KDDI, Singtel, SK Broadband, and VNPT
  • The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE), connecting Singapore and Hong Kong with the US, being funded by consortium including Facebook, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and China Mobile International, and being built by NEC
  • The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) connecting Angola and Brazil, going live in October 2018 after being built by NEC

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Sony Just Kicked Off A Huge ‘End Of Year’ Sale On PS4, PS5 Games



In all, there are just over 800 items on sale across both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Not everything is games, however, as there are some expansions, add-on packs, and other forms of DLC that are also included in the savings. Filtering out the extras, it’s closer to 600 (573 or so) games and game bundles.

There is, of course, plenty of older stuff in the mix like 2013’s “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag,” “Knack,” and “Murdered: Soul Suspect” (wow, remember that one?). But there are also a fair number of newer titles that are being discounted as well. If you were curious about “Gotham Knights” or you really want the X-Factor Edition of “NHL 23,” both are up for grabs at around 50% off. But if you want something that moves a little faster, there’s also the Digital Deluxe version of “Sonic Frontiers” for 30% off ($48.99).

If you want to check out the full list, you can find it over at the PlayStation Store or hop onto the online shop via your PS4 or PS5 console. Just look for “End of Year Deals,” or open the intrusive ad Sony most likely dropped in your system’s main menu.

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The Best SUVs Of 2022



The Suburban is the largest SUV that Chevy offers, and it’s perfect for hauling large families, lots of luggage, trailers, or whatever else you want it to. The 2023 Suburban recently launched with GM’s latest Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving tech, but other than that, not much has changed over the past few years. The thing is, it doesn’t need to, as the reason the Suburban remains a perennial bestseller despite being one of the oldest nameplates on the road is simple: space. There are very few passenger vehicles on the market that offer such a cavernous interior as the Suburban, which means buyers can usually look past the SUV’s other shortcomings.

It might be huge, for example, but the interior isn’t always up to scratch in terms of quality, especially in higher trims where prices start to creep uncomfortably close to true luxury rivals. Its base suspension is also just okay rather than great, and suffice it to say, it’s far from the most efficient SUV on the market. But, all those things matter less if you’re just looking for a big car that can haul people or cargo with ease, and for that alone, the Suburban retains its title as one of America’s best SUVs.

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Elon Musk Takes Shots At Apple For Scaling Back Advertising On Twitter



The story doesn’t end with ads. Musk claims that Apple has “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store.” Musk didn’t clarify whether Apple wants to remove the app from the App Store, or if the company is holding an updated version that might contain controversial changes potentially violating Apple policies. The latter recently happened when Apple kept Spotify from hawking its audiobooks via its streaming app.

When a reporter asked whether Apple was “threatening Twitter’s presence in the App Store or otherwise making moderation demands?” Musk only replied with a simple “Yes.” In another tweet, Musk started a poll asking his followers whether Apple should publish a record of the “censorship actions” it has taken in the past that have had a negative impact on customers.

Musk has also accused Apple of “secret suppression of free speech” and even appeared to suggest that the company might use its “duopolist powers to hurt Tesla” because the majority of Tesla car owners rely on the eponymous app installed on their iPhones.

Notably, the possibility of Twitter being banned from the App Store, and Google’s Play Store, evoked a rather interesting response from Musk over the past weekend. When quizzed about such a future, Musk responded that he would make a phone of his own if Twitter is booted off Apple and Google’s app repository. Musk is hoping to accomplish what the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta failed to pull off.

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