Severed submarine cable rocks Vietnam’s Internet

Posted on December 26, 2013  /  2 Comments

In September 2012, for the first time we explained to ESCAP the fragility of Internet in Asia. In response, the UN outfit had engaged Terabit Consulting to study the state of connectivity across Southeast Asia. The study found that Vietnam’s international connectivity is “Somewhat weak” at regional standard. It said more specifically: “Viet Nam’s submarine cable connectivity is significantly less than other Asian nations.”

Last Friday (December 20) Vietnam’s Internet connectivity was shaken when its branching unit to the Asia America Gateway (AAG) was severed by the anchor of a ship. Vietnamese carriers have immediately started rerouting their traffic through other cables. Yet, the Internet remains impaired keeping everyone at the edge.

Some analysts have commented that this is really a serious problem because it affects the national communication system. The analysts have called on the state management to sit down to discuss the problem.Binh also warned that the consequences caused by the cable accident might be more serious as initially thought. The accident occurred on a weekend, when the demand for Internet connections was low. However, things would be different on Monday, when people come back to work.

“The accidents remind Vietnam to pay more attention to the national information infrastructure,” Binh commented.

Viettel said about 25-30 percent of its Internet capacity has been affected. Meanwhile, NetNam said 30 percent of its service capacity goes through AAG. For the time being, Internet service providers can only try to ease the consequences by using provisioned systems.

Finally it has been estimated that it will take up to a week to repair the cable. We keep the fingers crossed along with Vietnam. Meanwhile, our quest for an open access pan-Asian terrestrial consortium is gaining momentum. Everyone will be invited soon.


  1. Many thanks for information. Looks like it may take more than a week for restoration because of the festival season. Is fault is localized ? How many alternative cables to Vietnam ? 40% of Vietnam traffic is down ?
    I beleive 2-3 submarine cable passes via Vietnam…

    1. Vietnam’s, as well as other ASEAN countries’, state of submarine and terrestrial connectivity has been discussed in this report.