Internet connections unstable until month-end

Internet users in Vietnam have been suffering connection problems all week due to a break in the Vung Tau-Hong Kong section of the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable system.

The necessary repair work, which is currently underway, is expected to last until the end of the month.

This accident has affected the majority of Internet users in Vietnam, as the main Internet service providers like VDC, FPT Telecom and Viettel utilize the cable line.

The service providers have promptly transferred capacity from this cable system to the backup system but there is no guarantee that the service quality will be as efficient as normal.

Vu Anh Tu, technical director at FPT Telecom, said Internet users might have difficulties exchanging information overseas through online services. Information exchanges at home, though, remain normal.

A source from VDC said the cable break would not greatly impact VDC subscribers as the company had transferred capacity to the backup cable line in Hong Kong and other areas.

Meanwhile, Viettel Telecom informed that the company had just taken over the trans-Asia marine cable system from EVN Telecom, so the accident would not affect Viettel clients as much.

The cable system was disrupted at 1:21 a.m. on Monday, about six kilometers from Vung Tau Coast. It is either because the cable line was entangled in an anchor chain or because it was hit by an underwater land subsidence.

International Telecom Ltd., operator of the cable section in Vietnam, is undergoing necessary procedures so that on August 26, it will send a ship offshore to fix the cable line. The repair work will be completed no later than August 31.

AAG is a 20,000-kilometer submarine cable system, with a total capacity of 500Gbps. The cable line connects Southeast Asia with the U.S., crossing Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong, the Philippines and the U.S.

The cable section in Vietnam is 314 kilometers long, officially starting service in November 2009.

Recently, Viettel and VNPT, together with Facebook and ten other international telecom firms, joined the development of the Asia Submarine Cable Express (ASE). The cable system will connect Malaysia with South Korea and Japan, with branches running through other Asian nations like China, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The project is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2014.