It is now no exaggeration to say the submarine cable system feeding Internet connectivity to Vietnam will face an incident on a monthly basis. The AAG (Asia-America Gateway) cable system, which links the Southeast Asian country with the U.S., experienced problems on Tuesday, exactly 14 days after it recovered from a similar incident on May 12. Newswire VietnamPlus quoted a representative from a local telecom firm as saying the same day that the incident was not a cable rupture but only a glitch in the system. The glitch was identified around 38km from the Vung Tau station, located in the southern Vietnamese province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Several local newswires said the incident was fixed within around two hours of detection, meaning Internet users in Vietnam should now have no problem with their connectivity speed. VNPT-I, the international unit of leading telco VNPT, said the cause of the incident remained unclear. Tuesday’s incident was the third to occur to the underwater cable system this year, and the seventh since 2014. As in previous cases, Internet speeds in Vietnam were slowed down to a snail’s pace when people used services hosted overseas. It took as many as 20 days to fix the most recent incident, from April 23 to May 12. The seemingly delicate AAG cable system is infamous for repeated ruptures. Disruptions have occurred to the system four times on different sections since 2014, with one break hitting the cable in January this year. In every case, the Internet connection to overseas servers of all service providers in Vietnam was affected, slowing down the Internet speed for their subscribers whenever they utilized services hosted abroad. Users of domestic services, however, were unfazed by the incidents. Vietnam is connected to four international submarine Internet cable systems, namely the AAG, SMW3 (Southeast Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3), TVH (Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong) and IA (Intra Asia). But Internet traffic in Vietnam is greatly affected whenever the AAG cable ruptures, as the system has the largest capacity out of the four. 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. VNPT, Viettel and FPT are reportedly participating in a trans-Asia Pacific cable system project that will connect Asia with the U.S. and is scheduled to go online in 2016.
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