Internet speeds drop as typhoons damage cables

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SEVERAL undersea cable systems have been damaged by recent typhoons in Hong Kong, causing slower Internet connections in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

The Asia America Gateway (AAG), Intra Asia (IA) and SEA-ME-WE3 (SMW3) first reported service disruptions on August 27, according to the Vietnamese daily VnExpress International.

Philippine telcos Globe Telecom, PLDT Inc. and Converge ICT Solutions Inc. have issued advisories about the incident.

Several underwater cable systems were damaged by recent typhoons, leaving Southeast Asia with slower Internet connection. ILLUSTRATION BY TELEGEOGRAPHY

“Due to the recent strong typhoon in Hong Kong, multiple international undersea cable links to the city were cut, causing slowdowns in Internet connections to web and social media sites hosted there. This has affected the services of internet service providers (ISPs) in various Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines,” PLDT said Saturday night.

PLDT is now working with overseas cable partners to repair the damage as soon as possible.

“Based on their current plans, our cable partners expect restoration work to be completed in about three weeks. While repair work is being done, PLDT is taking other measures to improve Internet services for our Home and Enterprise customers,” it added.

Ayala-led Globe said it started rerouting data traffic affected by the damaged submarine cables.

“Globe has successfully rerouted its data traffic that goes through the affected cable systems, to its other subsea cable capacity routes. In so doing, the multiple subsea cuts had no adverse impact to our enterprise clients and mobile and broadband customers. Our technical teams are closely monitoring the network to ensure voice, SMS and data services are operating at normal levels,” Yoly Crisanto, Globe senior vice president for Corporate Communications, said in a statement.

Converge also said three of its international submarine cables have been hit and that it would likely take four to six weeks to restore the damaged cables.

“To minimize adverse effects on our network, we have been working on activating additional capacity. We have already added 10 Gbps (gigabits per second) of bandwidth since last week. Earlier this morning, an additional link of the same capacity has been activated. With this, you can expect significant improvements in your internet connection. By next week, we are expecting to activate another 10 Gbps of capacity so that your service will finally return to normal,” it said in a Facebook posting.

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