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Vietnam internet issues

On September 4, 2021 a major submarine cable broke down in Vietnam causing network connectivity issues for a large portion of the population. Organizations hosted online and those with data centers outside those perimeters were hit the worst with most of their applications down or running extremely slow.

The background

Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) is a submarine cable that runs for a 25,000 km stretch from South East Asia to Europe. Since the service disruption occurred along the S1H branch of the cable in early September, around 20% of the international internet connectivity has been impacted. This cable is the chief source for internet service for Vietnam. Vietnam suffered a similar issue in late June, 2021 caused by the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable.

How does it affect businesses?

Major internet service providers (ISPs) like Viettel, VNPT, and FPT are affected by this cable issue leading to an unstable network and crippling business operations. Users find it difficult to access websites and applications hosted on the cloud. Services that have localized data centers in neighboring countries like Singapore are less impacted, as they route the traffic through those data centers. Other services, that do not have data centers nearby, have to use their data centers in the available regions and this can increase the response time due to high latency.

Solutions for end users

Here are some possible solutions for end users:

  • Change the domain name system (DNS) that your system uses to enable the right routing. This works for some ISPs, but not all the time.
  • Use the DNS resolvers that work best in your environment.
  • If you are working with multiple ISPs, you can change service based on your ISP's availability and the time of the day.
  • Try to create hotspots using mobile networks, which work better during emergency situations.

Sample screenshots for changing DNS server addresses


Changing DNS server address in Windows


Changing DNS server address in Linux


Changing DNS server address in MacOS

Solutions for businesses

Organizations have to work to ensure minimal service disruptions to their users. Here are some solution options for organizations:

  • Connect with your ISPs and route operations through available network paths.
  • Work with your ISP to optimize network performance and check out for option to route your traffic optimally for the critical websites  and services that you access.

These solutions are temporary, and the issue will be fixed completely only when the telecommunications cable is fixed. 

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