Typhoon Doksuri paralyzes Vietnam’s major telecom networks

By Trong Cong - Dinh Nam   September 15, 2017 | 06:58 pm PT
Typhoon Doksuri paralyzes Vietnam’s major telecom networks
Telecom workers fix an internet cable in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
Many in northern Vietnam, the most affected area, were disconnected from the internet on Friday night. 

Internet users in Vietnam have had a hard time connecting since Friday as one of the country’s largest networks collapsed amid a raging typhoon while others also hit bumps.

Sources from FPT Telecom said its system was shut down on a large scale, but the problem has been fixed on Saturday morning.

Its subscribers said they were struggling to access the internet on Friday and could hardly open international sites.

Nguyen Van Khoa, general director of FPT Telecom, said on his Facebook page that the storm had damaged the company’s north-south line, asking for customer’s sympathy for the “uncontrollable incident.”

There has been no annoucement on affected areas, but reports so far show that customers in the northern region have been hit hardest.

The Hanoi-based private internet provider launched the 1,800 kilometer (1,120 mile) land line in late 2012. The line broke down while repair for the notorious submarine cable Asia America Gateway (AAG) is unfinished. The work is expected to take another week.

AAG ruptured in late August together with the Intra Asia and SEA-ME-WE3, the latter being the world’s longest telecoms cable that connects Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe. Tropical storms Pakhar and Hato were blamed.

Severe damage

Typhoon Doksuri made landfall in Vietnam’s north-central region at around 10 a.m. on Friday, carrying winds of over 130 kph (80 mph). The 10th storm to form in the South China Sea, which is known locally as the East Sea, this year, is described as the strongest storm to hit the country in years.

At least five people have been killed and 1.3 million people are out of power.

The storm has caused severe damage to the communication systems in the region, breaking down television and telecom towers, disrupting mobile and internet signals.

In Ha Tinh Province and its neighbor Quang Binh, large areas have been disconnected and also out of power.

In Quang Tri Province, the storm ruptured 10 cable lines of the state-owned telecom provider VNPT and the military-run Viettel.

Although both have activated their backup lines to reduce the impact, customers have also complained about unstable connections.

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