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MCMC: Submarine cable issue causes minimal disruption to Malaysians

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is aware of a fault on the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) submarine cable. The APCN2 which connects Malaysia to Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States, is one of 14 submarine cable systems worldwide that are jointly owned by TM.

As reported by TM, the damage is on segment 3 of the submarine cable which connects Chongming, China and Lantau, Hong Kong. While the consortium that maintains APCN2 is still in the process of identifying the actual location of the damage, TM has already taken necessary steps to reroute traffic to other submarine cables to minimise the impact from the incident.

According to MCMC’s statement, TM has activated additional capacity through its Cahaya Malaysia submarine cable system which connects Malaysia’s international traffic to Japan. The commission says that internet users in Malaysia should only experience minimal interruption as there are other submarine cables available to channel international traffic.

In addition, most internet companies such as Akamai Technologies, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft MSN and other international content providers have peer connections at the Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) and there are cache servers at internet service provider’s network. This would allow their content to be accessible locally without any interruption.

TM had recently shared that only 20% of our internet traffic is international and they are mainly used for streaming, online gaming and teleconferencing. The broadband provider also reported that although overall data consumption has increased by 30% during the Movement Control Order (MCO), international traffic has only increased by 5%. TM also said that the cable issue may cause some degree of service degradation for users in Malaysia and in the region especially for video conferencing, gaming and VPN that are hosted in Hong Kong and the US.

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MCMC has added that TM has given its assurance that all necessary steps will be taken to minimise interruption. The commission will continuously monitor the situation to ensure that the internet services are not severely interrupted especially during the MCO. As more Malaysians are staying at home, the community is more dependent on broadband services especially for commerce, service and education.

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Alexander Wong