Vietnam Experiences Major Internet Outage After Undersea Cables Down

Official media reported that three of Vietnam’s five active international underwater internet connections went down over the weekend, marking the second significant wave of disruptions in little over a year.

As a result of the third cable, Vietnam’s internet connectivity to the globe has been “significantly affected” by the United States, the European Union, and Asia.

One of Vietnam’s leading ISPs, the country’s principal connection to the world internet consists of five underwater cables with a combined bandwidth of over 62 Tbps. The status of the three cables mentioned, which comprise the majority of the bandwidth, remains uncertain.

Consumers are having issues accessing services hosted on servers overseas. No specific timeline has been provided for restoring the cables.

This has been a chronic issue. At the beginning of the year, the country experienced a week-long disruption that affected all five of its cables. 

Connectivity issues disrupted the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) pipeline, the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) link, and the Intra Asia (IA) connection to Singapore. The AAG and SMW-3 cables link Southeast Asia to Western Europe and the Middle East; these are the only two underwater cables currently operational in Vietnam.

Vietnam has already set aside funds to invest in four more international telecommunications cables by next year, each with a data capacity of 60 Tbps. By the end of the decade, the goal is to install fifteen cable systems across the nation.

The Vietnam-Singapore cable system (VTS) is one potential future cable that would go via eight pairs of fiber and terminate in Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The VTS cable, the shortest cable between the two countries, is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2027.

The domain name for Vietnam is CCTLD.

The country’s information and communication ministry said on June 14 that new websites using the BIZ.VN domain name would have free service for two years, and anyone between the ages of 18 and 23 who registers an ID. For personal use, the VN domain name will also have free service for the same amount of time.

Since just 25% of Vietnamese companies utilize the VN domain, the giveaways are an attempt to encourage more locals to do so. According to the government, that’s much lower than the 70% adoption rate of local CCTLDs in industrialized nations.