Where Does Cambodia’s Internet Come From?

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“For Cambodia to have internet it is reliant on its neighbours – Vietnam and Thailand – to get that access to the internet,” says Glenn Miller, Ezecom’s chief information officer.

Beyond these neighbouring countries, Miller says, it comes from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia – even as afar afield as the US and Australia.

While internet in Cambodia can be slow and relatively expensive compared to other countries in the region, the myriad internet service providers operating in the Kingdom have been working to rectify this and have managed to increase the quality of our connections year by year.

This improvement, according to Phay Som, the owner of Uni Young Technologies, is thanks to advancements in the use of fibre optic cables.

“In the future [the network] reliability will depend on the technology but at the moment fibre optics placed under the ground rather than above it means that the networks are much better than before.”

While the subterranean cables have improved the overall quality of our connections, problems still arise.

“Something as simple as power blackouts can cause the internet to stop working in certain areas,” says Miller. “Different events can occur that can cause the fibre optic cables to stop working.

“There can be a fire on an electrical pole and that’ll burn the cable so it stops working. Even where we have cables under the ground sometimes workers around the city do work and they dig them up.”

Improvements aside, the fact remains that internet access and usage throughout the country is below average, frustrating users and potentially slowing Cambodia’s journey towards becoming a developed and sustainable nation. However, Glenn Miller, Ezecom’s chief information officer, says that the problem is a fixable one and that there is action being taken to do so.

Ezecom is executing a plan that increases international connectivity to Cambodia which will improve the internet quality.

“The missing pieces in the puzzle are cables landed directly to Cambodia, which would give Cambodia a more direct access to a bigger supply of internet bandwidth,” says Miller.

“However, the biggest piece of the puzzle is the demand, as the demand for bandwidth and data continues to grow, the quality and price of internet in Cambodia will improve. Besides in-country demand, regional demand also plays a role in this process. It’s a very complex process but we see it as something that is always improving.”

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