Myanmar braces for slow Internet speed

Internet users in Myanmar should brace for slow Internet speed for a month, following the service disruption of the underwater cable that links the country with the rest of the world.

Win Aung from Overseas Department under Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) said that the fibre optic cable so-called “SEA-ME-WE 3” linking Myanmar and Singapore was cut off at midnight of August 12.

“The repair process will take about 15 to 30 days,” he said.

He said that the cable may have been severed by anchors or movements of underwater rocks. The severed cable is located about 70 kilometres away from Myanmar shore.

“We are now repairing it. During this time, the Internet connection speed is down to one fourth of normal speed,” Win Aung added.

According to MPT, the underwater cable is severed, Myanmar is now linked with international networks through overland cross-border connections. The country is linked with Thailand, China and Singapore through fibre optic cables.

With the approval from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, MPT is considering to replace the cable which is frequently disrupted, with high-speed “SEA-ME-WE 5” cable. The new cable is expected to be commissioned in 2015.

In a brief announcement in state-owned newspaper The New Light of Myanmar, MPT said “The public are informed of Internet connection delay while repair works are in progress”.

The cable connects Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe.

With 24,000 miles in length, the SEA-ME-WE 3 underwater fibre cable has 39 landing points in a number of companies including Germany, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar.

Commissioned in 2000, the cable has been disrupted several times. In July 2005, the cable near Pakistan was severed, disrupting almost all of the country’s communications with the rest of the world, and affecting approximately 10 million Internet users.


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