Slow internet speed reported nationwide due to undersea cable fault

ISLAMABAD: A countrywide slow internet speed was reported in Pakistan on Monday as a fault occurred in the 25,000-kilometres-long Asia-Europe AAE1 cable.

According to reports, a major 40-terabyte cable was ruptured near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, which resulted in a slow internet speed across Pakistan. ATM and bank services were affected as well.

It can reportedly take several days to repair the affected cable. Authorities concerned are working to transfer the internet data traffic to other lower-capacity cables.

Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) is a 25,000km submarine cable from South East Asia to Europe across Egypt, connecting Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.

The AAE-1 consortium signed the construction and maintenance agreement in Hong Kong on January 27, 2014, and launched the AAE-1 cable system for commerical service in June 2017. The AAE-1 cable system is designed with 100Gbps technology, with a designed trunk capacity of more than 40 Tbps on 5 fiber pairs.

Two errors on the S1H branch of the AAE-1 submarine cable are scheduled to be fixed on November 2-14. On September 4 and September 7, errors were reported on two segments of the S1H branch.

The incidents disrupted Internet connection capacity from Vietnam to Singapore and Europe. This is the second time this year that the AAE-1 cable has had problems. The first occurred on May 25, which was fixed on July 12.

Meanwhile, another error occurred on August 11 on the Asia America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable, which has not been fully restored, affecting internet connection between Vietnam and Singapore. It is expected that the repair of the AAG cable line will be completed on September 26.

This is not the first time that errors have occurred on both submarine cables at the same time. Many users complained that their operations have been seriously affected due to poor internet speed and network quality.

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