Hanoi considers ditching war-time loudspeakers

In the age of the internet, Hanoi's mayor said the old system has become obsolete and urged local officials to review their effectiveness.

Outdated speakers that have been blaring out across Hanoi since the wartime in the 1960s have become obsolete and completed their purpose, Mayor Nguyen Duc Chung said at a conference on January 9.

“They were very effective in their time but in this digital age with a lot of other means of serving the people, like providing daily pollution information on the internet, are the speakers still necessary?”

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Loudspeakers seen along a street in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

They might only be helpful in the suburbs now, Chung said.

He encouraged local officials to review how effective the speakers are in their areas and to decide whether to remove them.

Hanoi's loudspeakers date back to the 1960s and 1970s when they delivered air raid warnings during the war with the US-backed South Vietnamese government.

Today they are used to deliver daily neighborhood announcements about local meetings, health updates, sanitation and other public issues. The same system is used in many parts across rural Vietnam.

But many Hanoians believe the iconic method of mass communication is no longer necessary and too noisy. The speakers belong in museums now, some suggest.


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