Neverending Story: Vietnam and the Undersea Internet Cable Ruptures

Daily News - Saigon/HCMC: Feb. 21, 2017

Are the sharks back? If so, it hasn’t been reported. But fact is: internet has been slow recently as the Asia America Gateway has been disrupted for the second time this year.

Let’s recap: Vietnam has five submarine cable systems in place today. The Asia America Gateway (AAG), for example, was set up in November 2009 with a length of over 20,000 kilometres and a capacity of 2 terabit/second. It connects South East Asia with the US.


There have been problems with each of the five internet cables. The latest issue occurred on Saturday as the cable between Vietnam and Hong Kong unexpectedly stopped working. Local authorities haven’t provided any information on when the internet speed will be back to normal.

It’s the second time this year that the AAG has had to be fixed after the three similar incidences in 2016, which affected the AAG and several more cable systems such as the Intra Asia (IA) – which has yet to be fully fixed – or the recently installed Asia Pacific Gateway (APG), with a capacity of more than 54 terabit/second.

The AAG and the APG are Vietnam’s main cable connections, so their functioning is absolutely vital for the country’s internet speed.

In view of the interminable breakdowns, and with the lack of information being put out by authorities, one can only hope that the land-based connections will be upgraded. The first attempt runs through China but only reaches a capacity of 120 gigabit/second. Plans for a second land-based cable are on the table. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.