Vietnam's internet to slow as undersea cables encounter problems yet again

By Bao Anh   October 12, 2017 | 08:29 am PT
There has been no confirmation on the causes of the problems or repair schedules.

Vietnam's internet speed is likely to slow down again in the coming days after two of the undersea cable systems connecting the country with the rest of the world encountered problems this week.

Initial reports show that the Asia America Gateway (AAG) has encountered a power failure and lost connection with its Hong Kong station on Thursday, an internet service provider (ISP) said. Meanwhile the SEA-ME-WE 3 (SMW3) also encountered an unspecified problem on Tuesday, VietnamPlus quoted an ISP as saying.

There has been no confirmation on the causes of the problems or repair schedules. An ISP however said it would try to help fix the issues in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministerial Meeting later this month in Hoi An and the APEC summit next month in Da Nang, according to VietnamPlus.

This is the fourth time the AAG encountered problems this year, following incidents in January, February and August. Repair works to the infamous cable system's ruptures in August were finished just two weeks ago.

Tuesday's incident is also the second time the SMW3 encountered problems this year, following an issue in late August which also coincided with the AAG and the Intra Asia (IA) rupturing.

Connected in November 2009, the $560-million AAG with a capacity of 2 terabits/second accounts for 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.

SMW3 was completed in late 2000 and runs 39,000 kilometers (24,200 miles), connecting Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe, as well as East Asia and Australia.

Vietnam curently has six submarine cable systems, as well as 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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