Monday , December 11 2023

Four undersea cables encounter simultaneous issues

Four out of five undersea cables connecting Vietnam with the world have simultaneously encountered issues, impacting Vietnam’s Internet speed with areas outside the country.

An Internet service provider in Vietnam on Monday reported that the Intra Asia (IA) cable has encountered problems since last Saturday. There was a breakage at a cable section located about 130 km from a shoreline station in Singapore, causing a total loss of international data from Vietnam to Singapore through the IA cable.

The latest breakage means that only one undersea cable that connects Vietnam with the world, the SMW3, remains fully functional.

Vietnam is currently connected with seven undersea cables: SMW3, AAG, IA, APG, AAE-1, SJC2 and ADC. Besides the recent breakage of the IA, problems with the AAE, AAG and APG cables that have been present since 2022 and early 2023 have yet to be fully resolved.

The SJC2 and the ADC have yet to be officially operational, while the SMW3 cable is considered to be old and is about to be decommissioned.

The fact that Vietnam currently only has one fully functional undersea cable means Internet connections between Vietnam and the rest of the world are severely impacted.

Phuong Thanh, from Hanoi’s Cau Giay District, said she began to feel her Internet connections becoming fickle starting Sunday, when she saw how her movie-watching app on TV dropped the video quality to the lowest resolution.

“I was planning to watch the rest of the film to end my Tet holiday, but the images were blurry. It’s really a pain,” she said.

Thanh Trung, an online business vendor in HCMC, said he also encountered issues with his Internet connections when he opened up shop Monday morning.

“I was planning to kick-start the new year with dozens of orders waiting to be processed, but an hour had passed and I still couldn’t access the managing page. It means orders were delayed, while my customers were still waiting,’ he said, adding that he had never seen his Internet connection on PC to be so slow.

When he switched to a mobile Internet connection, Trung said the situation improved somewhat, though the speed was still considerably slower than before.

A representative of VNPT said the fact that four cables simultaneously encounter issues would mean that international Internet connections would be “more or less” affected, especially during rush hours and when doing activities that require high Internet bandwidths, like playing online games or watching movies.

“This is an unavoidable situation and affect all Internet service providers in Vietnam,” VNPT said Monday.

Service providers said they were working with units managing the undersea cables to resolve issues, as well as deploying other measures to optimize data transference.

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