Vietnam’s internet connections and speeds will be even slower than normal for the next 7 ~ 10 days due to another break in the Asia America Gateway (AGG) internet cable that connects Vietnam with most of the world.
According to Vietnamese media reports, there is a new break in the section of the cable between Hong Kong and Vietnam ... specifically in a section of cable that is 125km offshore from the Vietnamese beach town of Vung Tau.
In many of the previous cable breaks, fishermen and boats have been the break culprits, but it appears that in this latest incidence a technical “fault” is to blame. The fault involves “shunting” issues, which are typically breaks in connectors and therefore are more complex to solve than simple cable breakages.
Vietnamese consumers have complained since last Friday that they have unstable internet connections, especially when trying to access international websites. According to industry experts, traffic from Vietnam to websites such as Facebook, Netflix and YouTube has significantly dropped since the cable break on Friday.
The repair work on the shunting fault will start on August 29 and is projected for completion around September 4th or 5th. For Vietnamese netizens, this means that the internet will be slow during the Vietnamese Independence Day, three-day national holiday that takes place at the beginning of September.
The AAG internet cable system carries 60% of Vietnam’s international internet traffic and since its debut has encountered multiple ruptures and been under frequent repair. Government advisors want there to be less reliance on the AAG network and have asked the government to invest in additional cable and satellite systems so that the country’s internet connectivity is faster and has increased stability.
Across Southeast Asia, Singapore’s internet speeds are used as a benchmark, and in comparison to Singapore, Vietnam's average internet speed is 10 times slower. Vietnam’s speed is also more than three times slower than Malaysia and more than two times slower than Thailand.
According to a survey by Cable, a U.K. broadband, TV, phone and mobile provider, Vietnam’s internet download speed is 7.02 megabytes per second, which places the country 89th out of 207 countries and territories that Cable measures. This is a decrease of 14 places from last year’s rankings.
Vietnam’s internet network includes the AAG and five other submarine cable systems, as well as a 120 gigabit channel that runs overland through China. In comparison, Singapore has more than 15 submarine cable systems, including the AAG network, and the majority of Singapore’s cable systems have 3 ~ 5x greater capacity than Vietnam’s.
The Vietnamese government has a goal of making Vietnam a leader in digital technologies and services in the period of 2020 ~ 2030. In order to achieve this goal the government will need to make additional investments into internet connection systems to benefit its companies and the more than 65 million Vietnamese who use the internet on a daily basis.