Manitoba

911 calls cut short in Winnipeg this weekend as phone providers fought outages

Winnipeg police confirmed there were "intermittent dropped 911 calls" on Sunday, as phone providers across Canada struggled with outages.

Winnipeg police say people experienced 'intermittent dropped 911 calls' while the networks were down Sunday

Winnipeg police say its not possible to track the number of calls that were dropped, but confirmed they began Sunday afternoon, when reports of nation-wide network outages began to emerge. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

A Canada-wide issue with cellular service meant some Winnipeggers had their 911 calls cut short Sunday, the Winnipeg Police Service confirmed Monday — but they're not able to say exactly how many.

"Similar to other 911 centres across Canada, our agency experienced intermittent dropped 911 calls from customers of mobile service providers who reported network outages," a police spokesperson wrote in an email to CBC News.

The spokesperson added it's not possible for police to track the number of calls that were dropped, but confirmed the issue began Sunday afternoon — when reports of network outages across Canada began to emerge.  

The outages mainly affected Rogers and Freedom Mobile customers. Bell and Telus said their customers were able to contact people on their own networks, but had trouble reaching Rogers and Freedom Mobile customers.

A spokesperson for Winnipeg-based Bell MTS said its customers in Manitoba had the same experience as other Bell customers.

Some other police departments — including Toronto — also reported issues with dropped 911 calls. 

Sunday evening, the police service in London, Ont., told residents to avoid using Rogers phones to contact 911, telling them instead to use a Bell phone or a landline. 

A spokesperson for Brandon Police Service said it hadn't heard of any issues with 911 calls while the networks were down. 

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