Damaged sea cables cause Internet speed woes in Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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An Internet cable to be placed undersea off Vietnam coast. Photo credit: Tien Phong An Internet cable to be placed undersea off Vietnam coast. Photo credit: Tien Phong

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The internet cable system that runs from Southeast Asia to North America was damaged Tuesday night, disrupting international connection in Vietnam.
A statement from managers of the Asia America Gateway, which carries 60-70 percent of the data transferred between Vietnam and overseas, said the cable broke at around 6.30 p.m. at the section between Vietnam and Hong Kong, 18 kilometers off Vung Tau coast and 19 meters under the sea.
Data transfer overseas such as web browsing, email, Internet calling will be affected due to possible traffic jams on back-up cables, the cable managers said, adding that local Internet services will remain normal.
Launched in 2007, the 20,000-kilometer cable starts in Malaysia and ends in the US, and is the only cable connecting Southeast Asia with the US.
In Vietnam, a 314-kilometer cable section is linked to the southern beach town of Vung Tau since 2009, and used by four major local Internet providers, namely FPT Telecom, VNPT, Viettel and SPT.
>Several cable disruptions, some every year, since 2011 have forced the companies to expand their international bandwidth as a counter measure.
They said they plan to invest in other sea cables in order to save their customers from similar troubles.
Le Dang Dung, deputy general director of Viettel, told Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online the company just invested US$50 million in the 25,000 kilometers Asia Africa Euro 1 system, which is expected to finish in 2016 and will connect Vietnam to other Asian countries, Europe and Africa.
Dung said Viettel is the only Vietnamese operator investing in the Africa Euro cable, which does not cross paths with the two other international cables from Vietnam – AAG or IA (Intra Asia).
The Asia America Gateway has landing stations in the continental US, Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam, while Asia Africa Euro 1 will go from Vietnam through Malaysia, Singapore, to India, Pakistan, Egypt, other African countries, and Europe.
VNPT (short for Vietnam National Post and Telecommunication Group) meanwhile has joined with Viettel, FPT and Hanoi-based telecom corporation CMC to invest in the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) that has similar path as AAG or IA and is expected to start transferring data this year.
“Once APG and later cable systems are put in operation, Internet connection from Vietnam to overseas won’t be affected much every time the AAG cable is broken,” Dung said.

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