If your connection has been unbearably slow, hold up and don’t throw a hissy fit just yet. There’s a reason why it’s acting up.
According to Telekom Malaysia (TM), a fault on the Asia America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system is causing data degradation, affecting Internet users in the Southeast Asian region accessing sites based in the US.
Note: The AAG is a 20,000-kilometre long submarine communications cable system, connecting South-East Asia with the USA mainland, across the Pacific Ocean via Guam and Hawaii.
TM didn’t specify the exact fault but the communications company did say that it affects data traffic to and from the US. This means that virtually all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Malaysia will face a similar issue – though TM (Streamyx, Unifi) is the only ISP to have confirmed the issue. So, if Facebook, Twitter, and other US-based sites are loading exceptionally slow, now you know.
Even messaging apps like WhatsApp will see some slowdown in sending and receiving messages.
#TMAlerts 1/2 we are experiencing some degradation of data traffic to and from the US due to a fault on the AAG submarine cable system.
— TMConnects (@TMConnects) September 17, 2014
As confirmed by TM, repairs are currently underway to fix the cable but nobody really knows when the repairs will be completed. The fault appears to be located in the cable connecting Vung Tau (a coastal city in southern Vietnam) and Hong Kong, where the incident was recorded to take place at about 11:41pm on Monday (15th September). There’s a high chance that fixing it will be a bit of a challenge considering the fact that Hong Kong is currently facing Typhoon Kalmaegi.
TM has released an official statement regarding the fault in the AAG submarine cable:
Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) wishes to announce that our consortium members have detected a fault on the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable in Hong Kong segment linking Malaysia to the United States and North Asia.
TM has immediately taken pro-active steps by optimising our networks to reduce congestion and diverting traffic to alternative routes, thus, minimising the impact to our users.
Restoration works for submarine cable faults involves the concerted efforts of all consortium members, and is expected to begin on Wednesday, 1 October 2014 and completed on Monday, 6 October 2014. However, we wish to highlight that these restoration works will be subject to sea conditions, the identification of the actual location of the fault and the challenges presented working at great sea depths and pressure.
During this period, Internet users may experience some degree of service degradation such as slow browsing and high latency while accessing international websites mainly hosted in the United States (US), North Asia and Europe. Customers using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and other critical business applications linked to US, North Asia and Europe may also experience some level of service degradation.
TM shall provide necessary updates on the progress of the restoration works, and will monitor feedback from our customers on the quality of service experienced.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to assure customers that we are undertaking all necessary measures to ensure that customers continue to experience uninterrupted service.
We wish to thank our customers for their understanding and patience during the affected period. If you have any questions or require any assistance, you can reach us at email@example.com for TM Phone and Broadband customers and firstname.lastname@example.org for UniFi customers. We can also be contacted via Twitter at @TMConnects.
As mentioned in the above statement, restoration works will only begin on 1st October and is expected to be completed by 6th October. That is, if the sea conditions allow for them to get it done. Oh boy. Well, patience is a virtue. Let’s just hope that it gets fixed real quick!
Meanwhile, TM is taking measures to ensure that its users can still access the Internet although it might be slow during peak hours:
@Gguzmen there is a breakdown along the submarine cable connecting Malaysia to the US. We’re rerouting traffic but peak hours may be slow
— Telekom Malaysia (@TMCorp) September 18, 2014