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Cut cable hits Vietnam’s Internet again

Sunday, July 10, 2016, 06:36 GMT+7

Subscribers to Viettel, one of Vietnam’s leading Internet service providers, began experiencing snail-paced connection speeds on Saturday, but this time the infamous AAG submarine cable system is not to blame.

Instead, a rupture found on the Intra Asia (IA) cable system, one of four international underwater cables Internet Vietnam is connected to, is responsible for slowing down connection speeds.

Compared to FPT or CMC Telecom, military-run Viettel relies most heavily on the IA to ensure Internet traffic for its’ subscribers.

The telecom firm announced late on Saturday that it had deployed a back-up solution to make up for the 30 percent of international traffic lost by the IA incident. Viettel admitted that users will experience slow connection at times due to overloading.

The IA incident comes only ten days after the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable system, crucial to Vietnam’s Internet connectivity, underwent regular maintenance between June 22 and 27.

Viettel said it is making use of the AAG system to ensure Internet continuity for customers, except for those using services hosted in Singapore.

The Vietnamese carrier said it is working with its partner, Tata Communications, the operator of the IA connection to Singapore, to fix the rupture.

Repairs are expected to take a week, from July 12 to 19, during which connection will be disabled on the entire IA system to allow the completion of underwater welding tasks.

Viettel assured its’ users however that its back-up solution would mean ongoing repairs would not affect users too badly.

The IA underwater cable system was launched in late 2009, connecting Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan. Spanning a total length of 6,800km, the system boasts a data transfer speed of 3.84Tbps. Among the Vietnamese Internet service providers, Viettel relies on this system most heavily.

The three other major international submarine Internet cable systems Vietnam is connected to are the AAG, SMW3 (Southeast Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3), and TVH (Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong).

Internet traffic in Vietnam is greatly affected whenever the AAG cable ruptures, as the system has the largest capacity out of the four.

VNPT, Viettel, and FPT are participating in a trans-Asia Pacific cable system project that will connect Asia with the U.S. and is scheduled to go online sometime in 2016.

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