Fibre cut south of Enterprise impacts N.W.T. and Alberta's telecoms services

Issues with the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link are impacting telecommunications services throughout the territory and High Level, Alta., on Friday, including making emergency numbers unusable for some residents. 

Emergency numbers impacted, Northwestel expects to restore service by Friday evening

A roll of fibre optic cable in a file photo from Northwestel. Issues with the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link have led to phone outages Friday, the territorial government said. (Northwestel)

Issues with the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link are impacting telecommunications services throughout the Northwest Territories and High Level, Alta., on Friday, including making emergency numbers unusable for some residents. 

A Facebook post Friday morning from the government of the Northwest Territories says that an "ongoing telecommunications outage along the Mackenzie Valley Fiber [sp] Link" means that Telus, Iris and SSI customers may not be able to call emergency numbers in the territory.

The issues, the post says, include 911 and 1111, 2222, and 4444 landline emergency numbers.

As of 9:50 a.m. Friday morning, Bell cellular and Northwestel customers are still able to call 911 in the territory, the post reads.

In an emailed statement to CBC, Northwestel spokesperson Andrew Anderson said that the network issues are affecting mainly southern N.W.T., and that telecommunications services in northern communities are running through a backup path so only some services are impacted. He added that some people in Enterprise, N.W.T., may have disrupted services.

Anderson said all telecommunications services in High Level, Alta., are currently disrupted. He added that Northwestel customers in other regions may have difficulties making phone calls from landlines to cellphones. 

"Technicians have identified the issue and are working to restore all services as quickly as possible," wrote Anderson.

Appears to be 'fibre cut': RCMP

RCMP issued a news release Friday morning stating that Northwestel advised the police of "an alleged fibre optic line cut" south of Enterprise. 

RCMP warned that until the repairs are done, calls to local detachments may not go through.

Police are asking the public to go in-person to a detachment during working hours, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., if they need police assistance.

"Our technicians are working with all partners to resolve this situation as soon as possible. Further updates will be provided as required," states the RCMP news release.

According to the territorial government's post, Northwestel expects the issues to be resolved by Friday evening.


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