Vietnam: Internet Offline as Underwater Cables Fail

The state of the Internet connection of Vietnam with the outside world has faced another setback as three out of five underwater Internet cables failed around June 15 and are still not restored.

According to the State Information Agency vna, this failure has “significantly influenced the Internet connection of Vietnam with the world” and has made it difficult to access some foreign websites. The damaged cables include the Intra Asia (IA) cable connecting to Singapore, the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG), and the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1).

As reported by The Register, the cable operators did not provide a timeline for when the service will be restored. Repair efforts may be delayed due to a shortage of repair vessels, the time required to locate the damaged cables, and the logistics of the repair process taking days or even weeks.

While the exact causes of the cable failures remain unknown, previous incidents have been attributed to natural wear and tear or damage caused by ships. Intentional sabotage, which was suspected in previous outages in the northern and red seas, is considered less likely in this case. Vietnam had faced similar issues in early 2023 when all five of its underwater cables were out of service, though connectivity was maintained through alternative means.

These recent malfunctions come shortly after Vietnam announced plans to boost its digital economy by promoting the use of the .VN national domain. The Ministry of Information and Communications revealed on June 14 that they would offer two years of free service for those using the domain for new websites, as well as free service for citizens aged 18 to 23 creating personal sites with the ID domain. Vn.

These initiatives aim to encourage more local residents to utilize the .VN domain, as currently only 25% of Vietnamese businesses are doing so. The Ministry hopes to increase this usage to align more closely with the 70% average in developed countries.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.