Damaged undersea cables affect Internet in PH, Asia-Pacific

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – An Internet connectivity issue is currently affecting a large portion of the Asia-Pacific region.

Damaged submarine cables connecting 9 countries – including the Philippines – to the rest of the world online are causing issues for many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) locally and in the region.

At least two Philippine ISPs outlined the cause of the country’s connection issues. Eastern Telecommunications and PLDT said damage to the Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) last week caused the running issue.

In an email to subscribers, Eastern Telecom explained, "An existing submarine cable break at S4A that happened on March 21, together with the submarine cable break that happened at S6 segment on March 23 of APCN2” caused a double failure. Several Eastern Telecom IP Uplinks were isolated as a result.

A March 27 tweet from global Internet status monitoring company Renesys reinforced Eastern Telecom's email, noting that Eastern was "hit especially hard." The tweet also visualized the time the submarine cable got damaged.

. @leops1984 Yes, APCN2 suffered a cut at 20:29 UTC on 23-Mar. Eastern Telecom was hit especially hard pic.twitter.com/v5pYhEVwht — Renesys Corporation (@renesys) March 27, 2014

PLDT noted the same on its Facebook page, adding that the issue "has impacted on telecoms traffic in a large area of the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines. As a result, this may affect your data service.”

Post by PLDT Home.


While Internet traffic has been rerouted to other IP uplinks, this has caused higher latency and slower connections across the board.

According to the email from Eastern, expected completion of repairs on the S6 segment is slated for April 4. Meanwhile, PLDT’s estimate, which was posted after Eastern’s report, pegs restoration of services to be in mid-April.

The APCN2 is a submarine telecommunications cable that provides a link for 9 countries: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. – Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.