British Columbia

Hundreds lose internet service in northern B.C. after beaver chews through cable

Telus calls damage 'uniquely Canadian turn of events' affecting about 900 customers

Posted: April 25, 2021
Last Updated: April 26, 2021

A beaver chewed through fibre cable at multiple points, causing the internet to go down on Saturday and affecting service to Telus customers in Tumbler Ridge, B.C. The company said service had been fully restored by Sunday afternoon. (Diane Stinson)

Internet service was down for about 900 customers in Tumbler Ridge, B.C., after a beaver chewed through a crucial fibre cable, causing "extensive" damage.

In a statement, Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé wrote that in a "very bizarre and uniquely Canadian turn of events," crews found that a beaver chewed through the cable at multiple points, causing the internet to go down on Saturday at about 4 a.m.

"Our team located a nearby dam, and it appears the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch thick conduit. The beavers first chewed through the conduit before chewing through the cable in multiple locations," the statement said.


Sauvé said that a photo from the site appeared to show the beavers using Telus materials to build their home. She said the image shows fibre marking tape, usually buried underground, on top of their dam.

A spokesperson for Telus said fibre marking tape, usually buried underground, could be seen on top of the beaver dam. (Submitted by Telus)

Crews brought in additional equipment and technicians to help expose the cable and determine how far the damage continued up the line.

The statement said the conditions were challenging because the ground above the cable is partially frozen.

The company said it fully restored service by around 3:30 p.m. PT on Sunday. It had warned that cellphone service in the area was likely to be spotty until the cable was repaired.

Tumbler Ridge is a municipality in northeastern British Columbia with a population of about 2,000 people.