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​APG cable down, throttling int’l connectivity from Vietnam

Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 16:25 GMT+7

The Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) communications cable system suffered a problem on the evening of Saturday, slowing once again Vietnam’s Internet speed shortly after telcos had finished fixing two other broken cables.

According to official information from the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), a major Internet service provider in Vietnam, the problem occurred on the section of APG connecting Vietnam and Singapore.

About ten percent of Vietnam’s international connectivity is expected to be affected by the incident, as most major providers in the Southeast Asian country are connected to the cable system.

APG, which runs about 10,400 kilometers underwater across the Pacific Ocean, connects Vietnam with mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.

The cable system was launched in 2016 with a traffic capacity of 54.8 terabits per second – the largest of any other cables in Asia – and had been expected to guarantee more stable connection for Vietnamese Internet users.

A map of the APG cable system
A map of the APG cable system

Earlier the same day, connection through the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable network had been restored to full capacity after a rupture was detected on November 7.

The 20,000-kilometer AAG system, which links Vietnam with other Southeast Asian countries and with the U.S. across the Pacific Ocean, is notorious for the frequency of its problems since its launch in 2009.

On December 15, repairs to the Southeast Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3 (SMW3) cable system finished more than two months after its failure on October 10.

The longest in the world at around 39,000 kilometers in length, SMW3 links 33 countries and territories across the three regions, including Vietnam, and facilitates a major part of the country’s Internet capacity.

The latest problem with APG has prompted VNPT to redirect international traffic to other working cables that Vietnam is connected to, including AAG, SMW3 and the China-Southeast Asia Terrain Cable System (CSC), in order to guarantee the stability of international connectivity for customers.

“We are working closely with our international partners to identify the problem and begin troubleshooting as early as possible,” a VNPT representative said.

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