PHUKET: Slow internet getting you down? Internet users in various Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, may be suffering from reduced transmission speeds as a result of a damaged submarine cable off the coast of Vietnam.
The 20,000-kilometer-long Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable, which supplies data transmission between the US and Southeast Asia via Hawaii and Guam, was damaged on September 15, allegedly by a dragging boat anchor.
Repairs to the cable are scheduled for completion by October 6 but unsettled weather has been dampening efforts. The damaged US$560 million AAG is one of five cables that link to Vietnam compared to the 21 which connect Singapore the rest of the digital world.
Although statistics are currently unavailable, decreased internet speeds are hampering productivity and digital-based economies are forecast to take a hit.
The regions affected include: Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Guam and the Philippines.
This is not the first time that the submarine cable has been severed with the most recent event occurring on July 15 of this year. On that occasion, repairs were completed within 12 days, three days ahead of schedule.
— Jeremie Schatz