Undersea disruptions take mega-byte out of Vietnam connectivity

By Dang Khoa   December 24, 2019 | 01:44 am PT
Undersea disruptions take mega-byte out of Vietnam connectivity
The AAE-1 undersea cable connect Vietnam's internet to the world. Photo courtesy of FPT Telecom.
Over half of Vietnam's population will be slow-surfing the net as issues on three undersea cables remain unsolved.

An internet service provider (ISP) said it is working with stakeholders to repair the S1 branch of Asia America Gateway (AAG), which encountered the first connection issue on November 14, and then on Monday. Both occurrences have resulted in slower internet speeds along the Saigon-Hong Kong section.

Intra Asia (IA) and Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1), routes commonly used by many local ISP, also faced disruptions on Monday morning. Service providers are working to balance the work load among remaining routes and ensure connectivity.

Repairs on IA's S2 branch are expected to complete on January 29 and S1 branch on February 3, depending on weather conditions.

A time frame for repairs to disaster-prone AAG and AAE-1 routes has not been announced, connections expected to remain hampered.

All three undersea cable systems have experienced different problems over the past year.

In early January, the IA system encountered an outage in Singapore, with the AAE-1 cable broken on February 13, remaining unfixed till March 6.

In August, AAG experienced a problem on the S1H branch 125 kms off Vung Tau in southern Vietnam. With the issue unresolved, it detected another issue on the S1G branch in early September.

Vietnam's average broadband speed was recorded at 10 times less than Singapore's of 70.86 Mbps, thrice slower than Malaysia's (23.86 Mbps) and twice more sluggish than Thailand's (18.21 Mbps).

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

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