Vietnam Internet Returns To Normal After AAG Repairs
By Bao Anh
June 4, 2018
Repair work on the notorious AAG undersea cable has finished three days ahead of schedule.
Vietnam’s millions of internet users can breathe a sigh of relief, with repair work on the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable completed three days earlier than expected early on Sunday.
The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) had said earlier the work would continue until June 5. It said that internet connection in the country has resumed full service, meaning web surfers were no longer facing sluggish speed on international websites.
The cable, notorious for frequent breakdowns, encountered a technical problem on May 22, and repair work began three days later. It was the second signal loss on the AAG cable so far this year, following a reset last January.
Connected in November 2009, the $560-million AAG handles more than 60 percent of the country’s international internet traffic. The system runs more than 20,000 kilometers (12,420 miles), connecting Southeast Asia and the U.S., passing through Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Since its debut, the cable has encountered a ‘very high’ risk of rupture and been under frequent repair, affecting all service providers in Vietnam and weakening confidence of domestic internet users.
The cable suffered technical errors at least five times in 2017.
Vietnam currently has six submarine cable systems, as well as a 120 gigabit channel that runs overland through China. With a download speed of 5.46 megabytes per second, Vietnam’s internet speed was ranked 74th out of 189 countries and territories in a global survey of broadband speeds compiled by Cable.co.uk, a U.K. broadband, TV, phone and mobile provider, last August.
Vietnam’s average broadband speed was 10 times lower than its Southeast Asian neighbor Singapore, according to the survey. However, the country still managed to trump six other countries in the region.
More than 50 million people in Vietnam, or more than half of the country’s population, are internet users.