Internet users in the Philippines might be in for a long week as internet service providers are bracing for the impact of emergency maintenance activities on a submarine cable system that connects South East Asia with the United States.
The scheduled maintenance will run from 9 a.m. on September 26 — not September 25, as PLDT earlier said — 5 a.m. on September 30. The undersea cable that will be serviced is part of the Asia-America Gateway, which is a 200,000-kilometer-long submarine cable system.
It provides internet access to several countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, the U.S., and the Philippines. Its last major breakdown occurred in 2018 due to power leakage.
The Asia-America Gateway, a 200,000-km-long submarine cable system, provides internet access to several countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, the U.S., and the Philippines
PLDT/Smart was the first service provider to issue an advisory to its subscribers. Its initial statement, which has been deleted to avoid confusion, said that “customers may experience degraded internet connectivity during peak hours,” although measures are said to have been put in place to minimize the impact of the network servicing.
The second PLDT/Smart advisory published hours after the first had a different tune. It assured PLDT and Smart subscribers of continued internet connectivity throughout the five-day service period. “Students can still do their online studies and exams, and users in homes and businesses can go about their normal internet-based activities during this time,” it added.
Another advistory, this time posted on PLDT Home’s Facebook page, assured users that their internet connection “will be uninterrupted” and that the maintenance activity would have “no effect” on broadband connections.
SKY earlier posted an advisory that cautioned broadband customers of slower service while the subsea cable undergoes repairs. Like PLDT, the company also said that it is working with its technology partners to minimize the possibility of slowdowns and outages.
Converge issued a service advisory that its internet service “will not be impacted.” The broadband provider also claimed that it has “sufficient international capacity on multiple submarine cable systems” to mitigate performance concerns throughout the five-day maintenance.
In a statement, Globe Telecom said that the emergency maintenance activities to be performed on the AAG has “no impact” on its customers.
While these statements from local telcos are quite reassuring, it might be a good idea to have a backup mobile hotspot in place, just in case things go bad for the next few days.
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