Internet speed to remain sluggish until New Year

By Dang Khoa   December 14, 2019 | 12:00 am PT
Internet speed to remain sluggish until New Year
A screen shot of Asia America Gateway (AAG) undersea cable on Submarine Cable Map's website.
With repairs to the undersea cable incomplete, Vietnam's internet speed will remain slow until after the New Year break.

Repair work on the disaster-prone Asia America Gateway (AAG) undersea cable is expected to be completed on January 2, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

A local internet service provider said a repair ship will arrive at the AAG location, the S1H branch, at 6 p.m. on December 28, 2019.

The first weld will be conducted at 2 a.m. on December 30 and the final operation is expected to be done at 5 a.m. on January 1, 2020.

But experts expect normal internet speed won't be restored until 8 a.m. January 2 for everything to be linked back again.

In the latest breakdown, the S1H branch, about 163 km off the beach town of Vung Tau in southern Vietnam, was first reported damaged at 5 p.m. on November 14. This has resulted in slower internet speeds in the section between Saigon and Hong Kong.

Connected in November 2009, the $560-million AAG cable handles more than 60 percent of Vietnam’s international internet traffic. The system is more than 20,000 kilometers (12,420 miles) long, connecting Southeast Asia and the U.S., passing through Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since its debut, the cable has encountered high risk of rupture and been under frequent repair, affecting all service providers in Vietnam.

Vietnam's average broadband speed was recorded as being 10 times slower than Singapore's at 70.86 Mbps, more than three times slower than Malaysia's (23.86 Mbps) and more than two times slower than Thailand's (18.21 Mbps).

Around 64 million people in Vietnam, or over half of the country’s population, are online.

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