Vietnam plans new Internet cable to China as problems recur on undersea connection

Ngoc Huynh

Vietnam plans to build a new land cable linking the country with China to save local Internet users from regular breakdowns of the sole undersea connection that it is now relying on, the telecom ministry has said.

Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of Information and Communications, said at a press briefing Saturday that the sea cable Asia America Gateway (AAG), which connects Vietnam with the US, is becoming overloaded.

“We are going to build the second cable, connected to China,” Son said.

Technicians are reportedly fixing the AAG, which has a technical problem on the segment between southern Vietnam and Hong Kong, leaving local users with poor international connections.

The problem, probably a short circuit, may take at least two more weeks to be completely fixed.

The cable, launched in 2007, broke on the same segment in January and took three weeks to fix.

Similar ruptures have happened seven times since 2011, prompting local investors to put money on a new sea cable linking Vietnam with Japan. This new connection is scheduled to open for service next year.

Son said ruptures on the AAG could be caused by many things, including fishing nets and even sabotage attempts.

He said Internet users in Vietnam are passing 30 million, and the country needs more cables to serve the growing demand.

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