Several undersea cables are damaged but the effect on your internet speed may be minimal

It looks like the recent typhoons around Hong Kong have caused some serious damage to several undersea cables. These submarine cables (ASE, AAG, TGA-IA, SMW3) connect South East Asia to the United States. This is not the first time we have a submarine cable fault in our region but this time it isn’t as bad as before.

Submarine cable faults can happen occasionally and it doesn’t just affect one country but several ISPs around the region. When this happens, we can expect slower internet especially when connecting to international sites especially in the US. Depending on the severity and weather conditions, it might take weeks to restore full service. PLDT of the Philippines has made an announcement of a possible slow down for its home broadband customers.

However, for Malaysia, TM assures that this issue will not cause any significant degradation to its subscribers as they claim to have sufficient capacity to cater to our current demand. To minimise impact, TM will be diverting some traffic through different routes so that customers will continue to get uninterrupted internet experience.

We’ve reached out to TM and they have issued the following statement:


Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) wishes to update that the consortium of operators which maintains the Asia Submarine Cable Express (ASE) or also known as Cahaya Malaysia and the Asia-America Gateway have detected some faults in the cables connecting Hong Kong to Japan, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore; as well as to the United States and North Asia.

Submarine cable faults of this nature are normal and the consortium have begun concerted efforts to rectify the faults detected.

We are not seeing any significant capacity degradation in serving our customers due to this incident as we have sufficient network capacity to cater to the demand. As a precaution, we have also taken steps to optimise traffic from our networks to reduce congestion and diverting traffic to alternative routes, thus, minimising the impact to our users.

We will continue to monitor feedback from our customers on the quality of service experienced and would like to assure customers that we are undertaking all necessary measures to ensure that customers continue to experience uninterrupted service.

At the moment, we didn’t experience any significant slowdown with our fixed broadband and mobile connectivity. Did you experience any slowdown at your end? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alexander Wong