Fallen tree causes widespread telecommunication outage in Northern B.C.

Thousands were without landline, internet and wireless phone services overnight amid a widespread telecommunications outage in northwestern B.C.

Landline and internet service went out overnight, some still without service Sunday afternoon

Cape Breton Regional Municipality has issued a request for proposals to find a consultant who can help implement a 311 information phone line. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Thousands were without landline, internet and wireless phone services overnight amid a widespread telecommunications outage in northwestern B.C.

Telus reported an interruption to landline and internet services in the north central Interior and Haida Gwaii on Saturday evening.

Liz Sauvé, a spokesperson for Telus, said in an email that a tree fell onto a fibre line, likely due to the weight of snow.

She said service was restored early Sunday morning, but as many as 5,000 Telus customers were without landline phone service overnight. Wireless service was intermittent, she said, with some customers having access while others didn't.

Sauvé said anyone without landline phone service or a working wireless phone would not have had access to 911 services during the outage.

No redundancy

CityWest, a telecom provider owned by the city of Prince Rupert, also reported an outage around the same time. CityWest CEO Chris Marett said this was due to the same incident.

Marett said there is only one fibre line running through that part of the province, with no redundancy. He said a project to build a redundant undersea line down the coast is underway, primarily to avoid an outage like Saturday night's.

"We knew [an incident like] this was just a matter of time," Marett said.

Marett expected service to be restored to all CityWest customers by mid-Sunday afternoon.