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2 More Weeks for AAG Repairs, Hanoi to Get Free WiFi Network

In the ongoing saga of Vietnam’s temperamental WiFi connection, we’ve got good news and bad news.

Good news first: according to VnExpress, Hanoi will soon be getting its own free citywide WiFi network. Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung of the Hanoi People’s Committee told reporters the city will be installing wireless transmitters on street corners and in public spaces around the capital in an effort to help Hanoians navigate the city’s traffic and avoid congested areas.

While there are few details on how, exactly, the wireless system will help to combat traffic congestion, the prospect of citywide WiFi is another positive step forward for the capital. Last month, Hanoi’s largest bus operator, Transerco, also announced that it would install 200 wireless transmitters on its vehicles, further assisting with the citywide WiFi coverage.

A handful of other Vietnamese cities, including Da Nang, and soon, Saigon have already committed to their own complimentary WiFi networks, however some remain skeptical of Hanoi's new wireless system.

“It will be like in Ho Chi Minh City," wrote one VnExpress reader, according to the news outlet. "WiFi is available, but it takes a whole day to load just one page of a newspaper.”

While there’s a chance Hanoi’s mobile internet could go the way of many free WiFi services around Vietnam, providing a complimentary but miserably slow connection, it may not be the fault of the WiFi networks themselves. Over the weekend, VnExpress also reported that local internet providers are expecting the country’s WiFi connection to remain spotty until August 21 due to the latest break in the notoriously fragile Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable (thanks, Typhoon Nida).

After AAG cable ruptures in March and June, many Vietnamese netizens are wondering whether a shoddy internet connection is the new normal, however Viettel and other local telecommunications firms are exploring the possibility of new undersea cables to bring stronger WiFi service to the country.

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