Connection cut: Vietnam’s internet users in the dark over undersea cable repairs

The map of the Asia Pacific Gateway Submarine Cable. Photo by NEC Corporation

More disruptions are drowning repairs to the volatile continental cable.

Repairs to the Intra Asia (IA) internet cable that connects Vietnam with other parts of Southeast Asia have been set back once again by more ruptures, VietnamPlus cited an internet service provider as saying on Thursday.

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The cable has been under near-constant repairs since it broke on January 10, and despite a number of deadlines being set, it seems nobody is sure when the cable will resume full operations again.

On February 26, VietnamPlus cited another provider as saying that the IA is expected to resume full speed on March 1 after Tata Communications, the cable’s operator, said it had discovered new disruption points near Singapore. Meanwhile, other providers said repairs to the cable might not be finished before March 4.

The IA ruptured on January 10 and was fixed the same day. It ruptured again the following day and the operator estimated it would be back up to full speed on February 25.

The 6,800km (4,225 miles) undersea cable was officially launched in November 2009, connecting Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnam’s other notorious internet link, the Asia America Gateway (AAG), was disrupted for the second time this year on February 18, following a breakdown in early January. Work to fix the AAG is expected to be completed in late March.

Vietnam has five submarine cable systems. The country also has a 120 gigabit/second channel that runs overland through China; Vietnam has plans to build another.

-Reuters

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