Fishermen damage, steal undersea cable in Vietnam

About 90kms of cables affected by fishermen mishap

Vietnamese government officials said Thursday it will take at least a month to fix a critical undersea data cable damaged by fishermen scavenging for scrap copper.

The 560Mbit/sec fiber optic cable, which connects Vietnam with Hong Kong and Thailand, is one of two that provides the bulk of the country's connection with the Internet. Hanoi blamed the damage on fishermen, who have pulled lines from the seabed thinking that they were copper cables laid by the U.S. or the former Republic of South Vietnam before 1975.

According to the state-run Viet Nam News (VMS) news service and Web site, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on authorities to stop such thefts. At least five cases have been documented since January, VNS added, including the recent seizure of two fishing boats carrying about 80 tons of cable, which the fishermen intended to sell as scrap.

VMS quoted Tran Duc Lai, the deputy minister of posts and telematics, saying that it would take at least 30 days to repair the fiber optic cable. "This is the first time that fishermen cut an undersea cable to sell as scrap," Lai told VMS. "It is a serious threat to national security, socio-economic development, and Viet Nam's international prestige."

As much as 61 miles of cable must be replaced, said Lai.

Until the repair is completed, Vietnam's connection to the Internet depends on a 10Gbit/sec cable that links the country to China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

"To prevent a repeat of the situation, we have to take urgent measures like increasing fishermen's awareness of the importance of underwater cables, increasing patrols in areas that have undersea cables, and stringent punishment for those violating the law," Lai said.

Last December, major earthquakes off the coast of Taiwan damaged several undersea cables, and disrupted telephone and Internet service to and from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries in the region. Most repairs were completed by the end of January.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?