Fast winds, slow uploads


Two weeks since the arrival of Typhoon Hato wreaked havoc on the city, cities within the region are still struggling to recover all their facilities, in particular Internet use. While the MSAR’s general Internet access was largely unaffected by both Typhoon Hato and Pakhar, damage to four undersea cables traversing the Pacific Ocean has disrupted service in Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and other regions in Southeast Asia, as well as neighouring Hong Kong.
The four (known) cables to have been damaged were the ASE (Asia Submarine-cable Express), Asia-American Gateway (AAG), TGA-Intra Asia (IA), and SEA-ME-WE3 (South-East Asia- Middle East-Western Europe 3), according to the Straits Times.
The AAG, IA and SEA-ME-WE3 first reported service disruptions on August 27, say regional media reports, with company statements from various providers indicating repair times stretching into mid-October.
Damage is believed to have occurred to the AAG cable around 88 kilometres away from its landing station in Hong Kong, while damage to ASE is believed to be located about 63.5 kilometres away from its landing station in the HKSAR, notes Techwireasia. The ASE is of primary importance as it is partially owned by PLDT Inc., a Philippine telecom operator that in a statement noted: ‘Multiple international undersea cable links to the city (Hong Kong) were cut, causing slowdowns in Internet connections to web and social media sites hosted there’.
The IA cable, owned by the Tata Global Network, was said to be damaged around 54 kilometres away from Hong Kong, affecting its linkages to the United States, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan and the Philippines as well as Hong Kong.
Expectations are for slow Internet speeds to persist over the coming weeks.