Internet speeds in Vietnam have decreased again due to a faulty undersea cable. The Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable, which runs over 20,000 km and connects Southeast Asia and the US, has been affected by a faulty branch, or S1H branch, that was repaired over the past 15 days. The faulty branch was responsible for affecting 15 percent of the country’s total capacity, and repairs were completed in less than a month.

Damage to Asia-America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable

A broken submarine cable has slowed internet speed in Vietnam again, a problem that has been plaguing the nation for several months. On Sunday, the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable snapped about 98 kilometres off the coast of southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. The cable’s maintenance center said a repair ship would not reach the affected area until January 23, and welding should begin on January 25. The internet speed is expected to return on January 29, but could take longer if bad weather delays repairs.

The AAG is the primary link between Vietnam and the rest of the world, and carries 60 per cent of the country’s international internet traffic. Although the cable is 12 years old, it offers data speeds that rival those of other major internet providers. It has one of the largest bandwidths in Asia. However, users in Vietnam may experience slower than usual speeds when accessing foreign websites or services. According to a VNPT official, the break is causing problems with Netflix and Twitter. Furthermore, many internet users have been reporting a lack of connectivity when playing online games.

Decreased internet speed in Vietnam

As of April 18 there is a risk of decreased bandwidth and periods of reduced internet speeds in Vietnam due to a faulty undersea cable. The cable system was built below standards and there are frequent fractures. The repairs are scheduled to begin on September 29 and may take as long as 20 days. In the meantime, many internet users have complained that their connection is slow or non-existent.

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As the amount of traffic from abroad is larger than domestic traffic, problems on international undersea cables can affect the quality of internet service. The network operators have sought to fix the issues by strengthening their CDN systems and building new cable routes. In the meantime, internet users in Vietnam will have to wait longer for websites outside the country. This is because international internet traffic is more expensive than domestic traffic.

Repairing undersea cable

The repair of two submarine cables will continue until the end of this week, slowing down internet speed in Vietnam again. The S1H branch of the Asia Africa Europe cable, which connects Southeast Asia to the US, suffered a fault in December, affecting 15 percent of the total connection capacity. The repair is now on schedule to be completed by February 12.

The APG and AAE-1 undersea cables have been experiencing problems for the past few months, affecting Internet speeds in the country. A fault was detected about 125 km from the Hong Kong landing station, slowing internet traffic in Vietnam for months. The operator of these cables has notified Internet service providers in Vietnam of the repair work, and they expect the issue to be resolved by the end of the month.