Communication services have been restored to 39 communities across the North after the malfunctioning Anik F2 satellite was fixed.

The satellite malfunction yesterday morning disrupted services beginning at about 6:30 a.m. for long-distance and cellphones, the internet, bank and debit machines, and grounded flights in Nunavut.

Services began coming back online across the North Thursday night around 10:30 p.m. ET.

Northwestel reported that long-distance, cellphone and data communications were all operational by 12:40 a.m ET this morning.

This kind of satellite malfunction is extremely rare, said Paul Bush, Telesat's vice-president of business development.

"The reliability is almost 100 per cent – 99.999. Now, you see issues on the ground with ground stations, and you always have operational issues with power, etc. But it's a rare occurrence. So, fortunately we are back online and we'll be investigating the issue over the next couple weeks."

Telesat technicians believe there was a glitch in software recently loaded into the satellite, he said. When a satellite malfunctions, it turns away from the Earth and towards the sun so that it won't disrupt other machinery.

They had to re-load the software yesterday to re-establish control over the satellite and turn it back to face the right direction.