Vietnam’s internet relies on mainland cable via China
All three cable systems have problems, including two submarine cable systems IA (TGN-Intra Asia Cable Network) and AAG (The Asia-America Gateway) which are used by Vietnamese service providers in a large capacity, and the new cable system APG.
On January 8, AAG broke down once again, causing bandwidth loss from Vietnam to Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. The management center said it would not be possible to gain access to the waters where the damaged cable was located till January 27, which means that the problem will not be fixed until January 28.
As for IA, on January 10 and 11, problems were discovered on the branch to Hong Kong and Singapore. The problem with the branch to Hong Kong was fixed quickly on the same day, but not the branch to Singapore. ISPs (internet service providers) in Vietnam on January 14 confirmed that they had not heard anything about the plan to fix problems.
With the current rapid development and the stiff competition under which internet service fees are lowered, the demand for international bandwidth has been increasing sharply, putting pressure on Vietnam’s infrastructure for international internet connections.
Meanwhile, two problems occurred on December 31, 2016 in the locations near Singapore and Chongming, China, which led to the loss of capacity to Singapore on the cable system. ISPs’ updated bulletins on January 13 said the trouble would be fixed by January 23.
This is the first time Vietnamese ISPs have encountered such a situation. Vu The Binh, VIA’s secretary general, said it was uncommon to see both major cable systems AI and AAG in troubles at the same time. In fact, ISPs all have preparations for emergency cases, but they cannot return the normal speed of internet within only a few days.
Binh commented that trouble with a series of cable systems showed that cooperation among ISPs plays a very important role in optimizing the internet infrastructure connection in Vietnam.
“The trouble shows that even the most powerful ISPs with strongest resources may also have a difficult time,” he said.
He went on to say that Vietnam not only should improve its infrastructure system to ensure safer internet connection, but also needs to develop digital content services and attract foreign digital content providers such as Facebook and Google.
An analyst said that with the current rapid development and the stiff competition under which internet service fees are lowered, the demand for international bandwidth has been increasing sharply, putting pressure on Vietnam’s infrastructure for international internet connections. The one-year delay in putting APG, the new cable system, into use has also made things more difficult.
Vietnam’s international internet connection via AAG accounts for 60 percent.