British Columbia

Stewart, B.C., getting back online after internet cut

Residents in the isolated community of Stewart, B.C., might be updating their status sooner than previously expected, after they were unexpectedly booted offline earlier this week.

Local companies are banding together to get the district back online this week

Internet service in Stewart B.C. is getting restored sooner than expected, according to Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris. (iStock)

Residents in the isolated community of Stewart, B.C., might be updating their status sooner than previously expected, after they were unexpectedly booted offline earlier this week.

The isolated town lost connectivity when a non-profit group that had provided Internet for two decades shut down on Monday, before an alternate provider could get up and running.

Yesterday Mayor Galina Durant said she was concerned the town could be without Internet for more than a month, leaving the library unable to function, some stores unable to operate normally, and many residents without access to banking and online classes.

But Robert Chapman, the director of Sienna Networks, says his company's temporary mobile tower is being erected in the community to reconnect critical businesses by Thursday.

In addition the tower will provide free Wi-Fi to the community over the next month. Next spring the company plans to erect a permanent tower.

Chapman said he learned less than two months ago that the previous internet service provider planned to pull out of the community, leaving them scrambling to put a new service in place.

In September, the B.C. government announced it will spend $10 million to bring high-speed internet to remote parts of B.C. — a service the province has called crucial and essential.

The provincial government said it wants to provide everyone in the province with high-speed internet by 2021.

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