Southern Cross says its recent seabed survey found a faster route for its Next cable project which will connect Auckland and Sydney to Los Angeles.

The route will mean laying cable in waters off the Wallis and Fortuna Islands but should pay off by cutting latency, the time taken for data to travel across the Pacific. Southern Cross Cable Network CEO Anthony Briscoe says this means it will be the fastest connection between New Zealand, Australia and the US.

The Next cable is expected to cost around US$350 million to build and should be open for business by the end of 2019. The plan is for a 60Tbps link, which is three times the 20Tbps on the existing Southern Cross cable.

Like its rival, Hawaiki, the Southern Cross Next cable will drop off at several Pacific island nations. Fiji, Samoa, Tokelau and Kiribati are the most likely candidates. Southern Cross says it potentially has eight customers.

Southern Cross is 50 percent owned by Spark, Singtel owns 40 percent and the remaining 10 percent belongs to Verizon.