Internet hiccups in Vietnam as newly repaired undersea cable disrupted again

By Bao Anh   November 7, 2017 | 09:43 pm GMT+7
Internet hiccups in Vietnam as newly repaired undersea cable disrupted again
Men read news online from a smartphone on a commercial street in downtown Hanoi. Photo by AFP

This is the fifth time that the infamous AAG has been disconnected this year.

Internet connections along a major undersea cable system linking Vietnam with the rest of the world were disrupted on Tuesday, according to a local internet service provider (ISP).

The hiccup, which occurred at the section connecting Ho Chi Minh City with the main cable system, is likely to slow down internet speed in Vietnam.

The cause of the problem has yet to be identified, and no repair schedule has been announced.

Vietnam's ISPs said they have switched to their backup plans to ensure stable internet connections for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

This is the fifth time the AAG has been ruptured this year, following incidents in January, February, August and October. Repair works to the infamous cable system's problem in October were finished just over two weeks ago.

Connected in November 2009, the $560-million AAG with a capacity of 2 terabits per second handles more than 60 percent of the country’s international internet traffic.

With a length of over 20,000 kilometers (12,420 miles), the cable connects Southeast Asia and the U.S., passing through Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Vietnam currently has six submarine cable systems, as well as a 120 gigabit channel that runs overland through China.

With a download speed of 5.46 megabytes per second, Vietnam's internet speed was ranked 74th out of 189 countries and territories in a global survey of broadband speeds compiled by Cable.co.uk, a U.K. broadband, TV, phone and mobile provider, in August.

Vietnam's average broadband speed was 10 times lower than its Southeast Asian neighbor Singapore, according to the survey. However, the country still managed to trump six other countries in the region.

Nearly 49 million people in Vietnam, or more than half of the country’s population, are online.