Asia-America Gateway (AAG) is a 20,000-kilometre (12,000 mi)
long submarine communications cable system, connecting South-East Asia
with the mainland of the United States, across the
Pacific Ocean via
Guam and Hawaii. 
The cable is capable of delivering up to 2.88 Tbit/s (US-
Hong Kong-South East Asia) and 1.92 Tbit/s (Hawaii-Hong Kong). The
cable was ready for service on November 10, 2009.
Development of the AAG cable system was funded, at a cost of $500
million USD, by 19 partners: The Authority for Info-Communications
Technology Industry of
Brunei Darussalam, AT&T (USA), BayanTel
(Philippines), Bharti (India), British Telecom Global Network Services
CAT Telecom (Thailand),
Telkom Indonesia (Indonesia), ETPI
FPT Telecom (Vietnam), Ezecom/Telcotech (Cambodia),
PLDT (Philippines), Saigon Postal Corporation
StarHub (Singapore), Telekom Malaysia,
Telecom New Zealand, Viettel (Vietnam), and the
Vietnam Posts and
Telecommunications Group. The cable has landing points at the USA,
Hawaii, Guam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand,
Brunei and Vietnam.
The AAG cable is notorious for its frequent breaks and outages since
it was made ready for 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 segments between the
Philippines and the United States
are quite stable. Not only Vietnam, but also countries like Cambodia,
Thailand, and Malaysia, which currently have fewer alternatives in
place to reroute Internet traffic, are prone to severe service
disruption when the AAG cable breaks, whereas Hong Kong, Singapore,
and the Philippines, which are served by many different intra-Asia
cables, are less affected.
On March 10, the cable segment off the coast of Vung Tau, the AAG
Cable landing point
Cable landing point in Vietnam, was damaged causing severe disruption
to international internet services throughout
Vietnam and other
countries in Southeast Asia. On March 27, the cable was finally
repaired, restoring full internet capacity.
Two more cable breaks occurred in the cable segment off
Vung Tau on
August 6 and August 31, disrupting Internet services in parts of
On October 2, a break occurred in the cable segment between Hong Kong
and the Philippines. Because the segment forms part of the cable's
trunk, rather than a branch, internet services were disrupted
throughout Southeast Asia.
On December 20, 2013, the segment off the coast of
Vung Tau was again
damaged, affecting some 60% of international Internet traffic.
On July 15, 2014 the segment off the coast of
Vung Tau was again
damaged, and the internet bandwidth to international destinations was
disrupted. VNPT's Viet Nam Data Communications Company Deputy Director
Nguyen Hong Hai, said that the time that it would take for repairing
the cable had not yet been determined. On July 27, the line was
finally mended, 3 days earlier than the scheduled date.
On September 15, 2014 a segment of the cable between
Vung Tau and Hong
Kong was damaged, which was expected to cause network slowdowns in
Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Hong Kong,
the Philippines. In early reports, the cable break was identified as
being in the same area as the July 15 incident, off the Vietnamese
shoreline near Vung Tau. A representative of Vietnam's FPT Telecom
said that this incident was most likely caused by anchors from local
ships dragging along the shoreline, and blamed the cable's poor
technical design as a factor in the repeated breaks. Later reports
contradicted earlier reports of the break being off the coast of Vung
Tau, stating instead that section S1I, off the coast of Hong Kong, had
Initially expected to be mended within the 20 days of the incident,
repairs experienced a setback when a new rupture was found. The new
break, 68 km off the coast of Hong Kong, was only 4 km away
from the original one. A date of October 3, 2014 was given for full
restoration of service, with repair operations continuing until
On 5 January 2015, the cable was damaged yet again at section S1H
Vung Tau and Hong Kong. The
Vung Tau station launched a
search effort in order to identify the point of fracture.
Internet speeds returned to normal once the fault was identified and
repaired by 22 January 2015.
The snail-paced Internet speed users in
Vietnam have been suffering
since Thursday, 23 April 2015 is not brought about by a submarine
cable cut as widely thought and it will take three weeks, or a month
at worst, for repairs. This is the 2nd time this submarine cable is
causing headaches to Vietnamese accessing US and European sites. With
the increasing use of YouTube and Facebook, the internet in Vietnam
comes to a crawl and "Err-timed out" and "unable to find website"
became a common error message when accessing overseas websites.
Another outage occurred on May 26, along with a scheduled maintenance
outage in June.
2015 was viewed as one of the most troublesome years for the AAG
submarine cable. However, 2017 has now taken over as the year with the
most outages for the Asia-American Gateway Internet cable.
The Asia-American Gateway cable underwent maintenance again from 22
June 2016 to 28 June 2016, slowing down internet connections between
Southeast Asia and North America. 
On 2 August 2016 the AAG cable snapped again, about 90 km from the
South Lantau landing station in Hong Kong. The incident seriously
affected the quality of Internet services in Southeast Asia. Repairs
were completed on 24 August 2016. 
On 8 January 2017 Vietnam’s internet speed slowed following problems
with AAG. The disruption was triggered by a problem off the southern
town of Vung Tau.  The issue was resolved on 26 January 2017. 
About 3 weeks later, the second breakdown of the year happened on 18
February at a section between
Vietnam and Hong Kong. The cause was
unknown and the repairs were completed only 7 weeks later, on April 6.
Another outage happened on 27 August 2017 after
Typhoon Hato &
Tropical Storm Pakhar (2017)
Tropical Storm Pakhar (2017) caused dual cuts on S1 and S2 just off
Southern Lantau (SLT) causing traffic transiting
Hong Kong and
Southeast Asia to
Guam to crawl. Two other submarine Internet cables
connecting Southeast Asia to the rest of the world (SEA-ME-WE_3 and
TGN-Intra Asia) were also affected. The outage severely slowed
internet a full month. Repairs were finished on 26 September 2017.
Only 3 weeks after the repair, on 12 October 2017 it was reported AAG
suffered from outage due to problems in parts near Hong Kong. 
Connections were restored on 24 October 2017. 
Southeast Asia (mainly Indochina) had good Internet connections with
North America restored for 2 weeks only, as the AAG cable section near
Vietnam was ruptured for a fifth time in 2017 on 7 November. This time
- as the newspaper
Việt Nam News reported - "at a cable branch from
Ho Chi Minh City", which in fact is at the section off
Vung Tau once
again. Repairs were scheduled to take place between 28 November and 2
December 2017.  However, due to bad weather, repair was delayed
twice, first to between December 14-18 and then again to 'sometime'
after December 26, because the repair vessel will first tend to
another broken internet cable, SEA-ME-WE_3. 
The November-December outage of AAG cable will be an all-time record,
surpassing the almost 7 week long breakdown earlier this year.
2017 is the most troublesome year for the Asia-America Gateway
internet cable, so far. In total the connection was - for countries in
Southeast Asia - interrupted in 2017 for at least 157 days, or 43% of
the year. If only taking into account the last 6 months of 2017, AAG
performed even worse with outages for at least 92 days, or more than
50% of the time.
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