The Asia America Gateway (AAG) undersea cable—a 20,000-km-long submarine communications cable system that connects South-East Asia with the mainland of the United States, across the Pacific Ocean via Guam and Hawaii—has reported its fourth service outage this year.
The Vietnam Post and Telecoms Group (VNPT) reports that the cable broke down on August 23, the fourth incident to date in 2018, affecting Vietnam’s international internet connections. It attributed the service break to a power leakage at a point about 250 km offshore the cable’s landing point in Vung Tau (Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province).
The AAG cable is notorious for its frequent breaks and outages since it started service in late 2009. Most of the outages have been located at the intra-Asia segments between Hong Kong and Singapore, with most problems occurring in the Vietnam section, while the segment between Hong Kong and the Philippines seems to have fewer problems.
The $560-million AAG cable handles more than 60% percent Vietnam’s international internet traffic. Since its debut, the cable has encountered a “very high” risk of rupture and been under frequent repair, affecting all service providers in Vietnam. The cable suffered technical errors at least five times in 2017.