Think it’s bad to have 1 internet cable disrupted in Vietnam? Now there are 3

By Bao Anh   August 27, 2017 | 06:35 pm PT
The official culprit remains unknown but telecom firms believe tropical storms have ruptured the cables.

Three internet cable systems that connect Vietnam with the rest of the world have all gone down, an internet service provider said on Sunday.

The source said “problems” have occurred on three submarine cables, the notorious Asia America Gateway (AAG), the Intra Asia (IA) and SEA-ME-WE3 (SMW3), the world’s longest telecoms cable that connects Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe.

Their connections to Vietnam have been ruptured, the representative said, without giving further details.

No official statement has been made on either the causes of the disruption or their repair schedule, according to local media reports.

But telecom firms believe tropical storms in the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam, were to blame. Tropical Storm Pakhar brought strong winds and heavy rain to Hong Kong and Macau on Sunday, just four days after Hato, one of the strongest typhoons on record, pounded the region and killed at least 12 people.


SMW3, the world's longest internet submarine cable, has lost connection with Vietnam. Photo by FPT Telecom

SMW-3 was completed in late 2000 and runs 39,000 kilometers (24,200 miles), linking Vietnam's central coastal city of Da Nang. Vietnam’s internet users have reportedly encountered no problems with the 320Gbps system in recent years.

The other two cables, which have been in use since 2009, had their Vietnam connection to the southern beach town of Vung Tau disrupted several times this year. AAG accounts for 60 percent of internet connections in Vietnam.

Service providers said they have backup routes to maintain proper internet connections.

Vietnam now has six submarine cable systems, including Asia Africa Europe 1 which was launched last month, connecting 19 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The country also has a 120 gigabit/second channel that runs overland through China.

Around 60 percent of the country’s population of nearly 92 million are online.

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