Cellphone, internet service restored in North as fibre line repaired

Northwestel says full cellular phone and internet service has been restored to Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern B.C. following this morning's fibre line cut near Edmonton.

Cellular and internet service went down Tuesday morning after fibre line cut in Alberta

Student Adeah Reitsma's plans to do some financial aid applications Tuesday morning were put on hold. (Jennifer Geens/CBC)

Northwestel says full cellular phone and internet service has been restored to Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern B.C. following this morning's fibre line cut near Edmonton.

Cellphone and internet service in the North was disrupted at about 9:45 a.m. MT due to a cut fibre optic cable in Edmonton.

Cellular phone service was restored through an interim solution at around 1 p.m. Other telecommunications services were re-routed to a redundant line that could not keep up with all of the demand on it, resulting in congestion while technicians worked to repair the main line.

Earlier today, company spokesperson Andrew Anderson said Northwestel service runs through hubs in centres like Edmonton that are owned by other companies he described as "partners."

Flights at the Yellowknife airport were not affected. Services at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife were also not affected. 

Problems connecting

At lunch hour, some customers in Yellowknife said their cellphone and internet service was down, but some businesses said their debit and credit services are working.

Kyoko Hayashiguchi, a staff member at Javaroma, said her cellphone and the wifi at the coffee shop was down. One of the two debit machines at the counter was working.

Customer Iris Hamlyn said she was unsuccessfully trying to reach her husband on her cellphone to warn him about an unexpected house guest who would be there when he arrived at their Prelude Lake home. The internet was also not working at her office. 

"You realize how dependent you are," she said.

Student Adeah Reitsma was planning to spend her morning searching for financial aid possibilities on her laptop, but said the disruption in service was not critical.

"It's more of an annoyance," she said.

with files from Jennifer Geens