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Telekom Malaysia Internet Service Degradation due to AAG Maintenance

Telekom Malaysia (TM) which is part of the consortium that maintains the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system says that its Internet broadband users may experience some service degradation due to a maintenance exercise. TM Internet users include those on Unifi (mobile/fibre) and Streamyx.

AAG Submarine Cable System

Last week, MalaysianWireless reported multiple submarine cable system faults in the region that may affect the experience of Telekom Malaysia (TM) broadband users in the country. The submarine cable system at fault in the region include:

  • Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2)
  • Asia Submarine Cable Express (ASE)
  • South East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4)
  • Asia-America Gateway (AAG)

To date, TM only confirmed that is is affected by APCN2 and AAG.

The Asia-America Gateway (AAG) problem was first reported by a Vietnam-based Internet Service Provider (ISP) on 3 April 2020 which sent an announcement to customers, saying that the AAG cable system was broken and warning that connections to services provided by Facebook and YouTube would slow down. It said the Asia America Gateway (AAG) encountered a technical problem on the S1 branch connecting Vietnam to Hong Kong. However, TM said on Friday that “it has a vast and diverse network connectivity worldwide that is sufficient to continuously support any sudden spike in demand for internet bandwidth.”

In an announcement, Telekom Malaysia (TM) said that the consortium of operators which maintains the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system will be performing planned preventive maintenance works between 17 to 21 April 2020 for the submarine cable system at Segment 1i, between Vung Tau (Vietnam) to Lantau, Hong Kong connecting Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Asia Pacific; including Malaysia to Hong Kong and United States of America (U.S.). The consortium needs to execute this preventive maintenance work to avoid any potential future breakdown. TM said the maintenance exercise may cause some degree of service degradation for its Internet users, especially those visiting a website or accessing a service hosted in Hong Kong and the United States.

To mitigate service degradation for TM broadband users, the Telco has taken “proactive steps to optimise traffic on our networks to reduce congestion by diverting the traffic to alternative routes and other actions to minimise the impact to our users,”

TM wishes to highlight that due to the Movement Control Order (MCO), most people are currently confined at home and this is resulting in a more than 30% increase in usage trending. Of this, the increase of international link traffic is only 5% and the TM network is still capable to serve popular application or content with “acceptable” user experience.

Meanwhile, other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Malaysia are not impacted by the service degradation faced by TM Internet customers. Celcom Axiata, U Mobile, Digi and TIME dotCom said all Internet service are operating as normal.

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