RCMP to investigate damaged fibre infrastructure causing widespread outage: Northwestel
Internet, phone and TV services disrupted for most of Saturday in the Yellowknife area
Northwestel says RCMP will investigate damages to fibre infrastructure that led to a widespread communications outage in the Yellowknife area Saturday.
The disruptions began early morning, and affected phone, internet and TV services in Yellowknife, Whati and Behchoko, N.W.T.
In an email around 9:30 a.m. local time Saturday, Northwestel said customers should be prepared to be without service for "at least several hours" as technicians work to "repair infrastructure."
At about 7:30 p.m., Northwestel said technicians have done temporary repairs, and all services were restored.
"Northwestel has referred the investigation to the RCMP and we will not be commenting further on it at this time," said director of communications Andrew Anderson, in the email statement.
"We apologize to our customers."
Airlines at the Yellowknife airport resorted to "traditional ways" of checking in passengers, like handwriting tickets and baggage tags. Air Canada and Canadian North representatives told CBC on Saturday afternoon that some flights were affected by the disruptions. A WestJet representative said there were several "challenges" throughout the day, but flights hadn't been cancelled.
Grocery stores had slower than usual wait times for credit and debit machines, while some stores in Yellowknife accepted cash only.
Many customers took to Twitter during the disruptions to express frustrations.
Imagine paying $250/month for internet with a bandwidth limit, inconsistent speeds, and service that goes out for hours on end bi-weekly if not weekly. Someone please end this hellish monopoly 🙄🙄🙄<a href="https://twitter.com/northwestel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@northwestel</a>—@fgc_arctic
<a href="https://twitter.com/northwestel?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@northwestel</a> any news on the internet in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yzf?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yzf</a>? This is ridiculous. Did some idiot cut the fibre line again or did the raven do it? How about coming up with redundancy for when these issues happen? Most businesses don't run with single point failure—@EclecticBlogs
In May, Yellowknifers experienced a "major disruption" of telecommunication services after a fibre line was damaged.
CBC has contacted the RCMP for more information on the investigation, but has not heard back as of Sunday morning.