Undersea internet cable breaks again, causes slow internet across Southeast Asia

(Photo Credit: The Hindu)

Several Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Guam and Philippines, will be experiencing slower internet speeds as one major undersea internet cable breaks again, reports said.

A part of undersea cable called Asia-America Gateway or AAG was reported to have been breached somewhere between Hong Kong and Vietnam earlier last week and is still under repair.

According to the reports, cable operators from different countries will gather to repair it and is expected to be completed by next month.

The restoration works on the AAG submarine cable is said to begin on September 29, and takes a week to finish, subject to weather and sea conditions.

“Repair progress can be slowed down by unstable weather,” Vietnam’s FPT Telecom General Director Nguyen Van Khoa noted.

(Photo Credit: Talk Vietnam)
(Photo Credit: Talk Vietnam)

Authorities believe that dragging local ships along the Vietnamese shoreline caused the breakage of the cable, while others say that the design of the cable itself was poorly done.

“I must say that the AAG cable system was built to a below-standard technical design, which is the major reason behind its frequent fractures,” Khoa said.

He stated that investments in internet cables are costly and complicated, however, every cable results alliance between countries.

“The AAG is a 20,000-kilometer-long submarine communications cable system, connecting Southeast Asia with the U.S. mainland, across the Pacific Ocean via Guam and Hawaii,” Vietnam-based website Tuoi Tre News posted.

It was not the first time that the underwater cable was broken. Two months ago, the AAG cable system got broken and it took two weeks to fix it and return internet speeds to normal.

“Two years ago, part of the AAG that connects bordering areas between Malaysia and Singapore repeatedly broke, since it goes through overlapping maritime areas between the two countries. A number of boats stop in the said overlapping areas, so their anchors may have become stuck in the cable as sailors raised them and set sail, causing it to break,” Khoa explained.