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It may take a month to fix Vietnam’s latest Internet cable cut: telco

Tuesday, January 06, 2015, 10:45 GMT+7

Repairs to the break identified Monday in the submarine cable system that supplies Vietnam’s Internet connectivity could last between three weeks and a month, a local telecom firm said late the same day.

The long estimated repair time makes the rupture, found at around 8:04 am on section S1H, which connects the Vietnamese coastal city of Vung Tau and Hong Kong, of the AAG (Asia Gateway Pacific) cable system, one of the most serious such incidents, military-run Viettel said in a press release.

Viettel said it is working with responsible units from the AAG operator to speed up progress on welding the cut cable.

However, with repairs relying greatly on weather conditions, it is impossible to predict the exact completion time, the telecom firm noted.

TqD4O1gV.jpgThis image shows a cross section of a modern submarine communications cable. Wikipedia

Internet traffic in Vietnam is greatly affected whenever the AAG cable ruptures as the system has the largest capacity out of the four submarine Internet cables that provide connectivity for the Southeast Asian country, according to an official from FPT, another market leader.

Viettel has transferred part of its international Internet traffic to alternative cable systems such as the Intra-Asia, ChinaTelecom and ChinaUnion to ensure Internet speeds for customers.

The telecom firm will also apply many other measures so that the Internet it provides is invulnerable to the incident.

Meanwhile, telecom giant VNPT is the Internet service provider that will suffer the most from the snapped cable.

The cut has reduced Internet traffic of the state-run firm from Vietnam to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and the U.S. by 150Gbps, it said in a press release.

Gbps, short for Gigabits per second, is a data transfer speed measurement for high-speed networks such as Gigabit Ethernet.

Shortly after the incident occurred, VNPT contacted the AAG administrators and relevant partners to work out solutions to repair the cut in the shortest possible time, the company said.

6yUQLimZ.gifHow to fix a submarine cable

The AAG is a 20,000-kilometer-long submarine communications cable system, connecting Southeast Asia with the U.S. mainland, across the Pacific Ocean via Guam and Hawaii.

The cable has encountered frequent breaks and outages since it was completed in late 2009.

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Last year the cable was cut three times, slowing down Internet speeds when Vietnamese users utilized services hosted overseas.

The AAG submarine cable was first cut off on July 16, and snapped again on September 15. On September 29, with the second rupture yet to be repaired, a third break was found on the same cable section.

This is not to mention the regular maintenance of the system, which lasted between March 2 and 9 the same year.

A cut may be caused by sharks or vessels passing the area where the cable is laid, according to insiders.

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