Connectivity slows as Vietnam Internet cable undergoes 10th repair in three years

Internet users in Vietnam should prepare to suffer snail-paced connections for the next five days as the crucial submarine Internet cable system undergoes maintenance, the 10th time in the past three years

An Internet cable is seen in a server room in this picture illustration.

Maintenance procedures on the Asia America Gateway (AAG) are expected to be completed by 5:00 am on September 19, according to the AAG operator.

Until then, users in Vietnam should expect slow and disrupted connections to websites and online services hosted outside the country. 

Although local Internet service providers have back-up plans to ensure connection quality for their users, the AAG’s continued problems is proving to be a huge headache for both providers and users in the Southeast Asian country.

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

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).

Since operations in November 2009, the AAG has experienced repeated problems, with two ruptures in 2014 and four cable cuts in 2015. Vietnam’s Internet was slowed down between March 3 and 18 this year due to a power leakage from the system, according to the tech newswire ICTNews.

The AAG was also under maintenance in June this year.

The latest issue for the submarine cable was an August 2 rupture, allegedly caused by tropical storm Nida, which entered the East Vietnam Sea before making landfall in southern China, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

The problem caused disrupted connections for 20 days since the storm ended.

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