Bell leaves fish farm on the hook

Icy Waters Ltd. has been without internet for almost a month. And Bell Canada can't figure out why. The local fish farm has been paying Bell for wireless internet service for the past five years.

Icy Waters Ltd. has been without internet for almost a month.

And Bell Canada can’t figure out why.

The local fish farm has been paying Bell for wireless internet service for the past five years.

“There’s only one Bell tower in the Yukon that I know of,” said fish farm manager Jonathan Lucas.

“And we are its only customer.”

Every year or so, since the fish farm signed the deal with Bell, service would cut out.

“I’d call Bell and they’d send a guy up to flick a switch on the tower and it would work again,” said Lucas.

So, a month ago, when service cut out again, Lucas didn’t think much of it.

He called Bell’s head office on the East Coast and reported the problem.

Bell reps told Lucas to check the modem at his end.

It was working.

But there was still no internet connection.

So Bell informed Lucas it would “escalate” his concerns.

A week later, Icy Waters was still without internet.

That’s when Bell told Lucas the wireless service from its tower on Haeckel Hill “was not supported.”

One representative also informed him Bell did not provide internet service in the Yukon.

“But I have been paying Bell for this service for five years,” said Lucas.

Another Bell rep admitted to Lucas the internet connection was “closed down because not enough people had signed up.”

Fed up with paying for a service that Bell wasn’t providing, Icy Water’s head office in Ontario called Bell to close its account.

“And then Bell got excited,” said Lucas.

Its customer service executive office called Lucas “and we went through all the things we went through three weeks ago,” when the internet stopped working, he said.

Then Bell came up with something new – Icy Waters internet was down because it wasn’t using “a local modem.”

“They said the modem we were using was for outside our area,” said Lucas.

“But it was Bell that sent us the modem in the first place, and it worked fine for five years.”

Bell promised to send the company a locally-serviced modem.

In the meantime, with no internet, Icy Waters had reverted to sending faxes and making pricey long-distance calls to keep in touch with its head office and its customers.

“So Northwestel is making a killing,” said Lucas.

This week, Lucas was waiting for the new “locally-serviced modem” to arrive when Bell called back.

Turns out the locally-serviced modem “couldn’t support the service they were offering, because the service provided by Bell’s tower is not supported,” Lucas was told.

“It’s farcical,” he said.

“I have been without internet for almost four weeks, and have been paying Bell for the service and they can’t fix the problem,” he said.

“It’s a joke.”

Lucas called Northwestel, a subsidiary of Bell, to see about a satellite internet connection, and techs set up a time to come out to see if the location would work.

“But they didn’t show up,” he said.

When he called back, Northwestel’s sales reps assured him he could get DSL service, so Lucas signed up.

A few hours later, Northwestel’s techs called back to tell Lucas it wouldn’t work.

Icy Waters is in Whitehorse city limits, just four kilometres from the Alaska Highway.

“We are in town, but can’t get internet,” he said.

Northwestel and Bell actually cross Lucas’ property to service their towers on Haeckel Hill.

“I can see the towers out my window,” he said.

Bell did not answer emails or phone queries by press time.

But this morning, without any notice, Icy Waters internet started working again.

“So after four weeks of telling us our service was not supported and we had the wrong modem, it is all suddenly started working,” said Lucas.

Icy Waters is still looking into getting internet service from Northwestel.

“Because if and when our internet goes off again, I don’t want to go through all this rigmarole,” said Lucas.

“At least Northwestel is just down the road.”

Contact Genesee Keevil at

Just Posted


Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley announced youth vaccination clinics planned for this summer. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon government file)
Vaccination campaign planned for Yukon youth age 12 and up

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for younger people on May 5.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Courtesy/Yukon Protective Services Yukon Wildland Fire Management crews doing a prescribed burn at the Carcross Cut-Off in May 2020.
Prescribed burns planned near Whitehorse neighbourhoods to improve wildfire resistance

Manual fuel removal and the replacement of conifers with aspens is also ongoing.

Chloe Tatsumi dismounts the balance beam to cap her routine during the Yukon Championships at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club on May 1. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Gymnasts vie in 2021 Yukon Championships

In a year without competition because of COVID-19, the Polarettes Gymnastics Club hosted its Yukon Championships.

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Two young orienteers reach their first checkpoint near Shipyards Park during a Yukon Orienteering Association sprint race May 5. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Orienteers were back in action for the season’s first race

The Yukon Orienteering Association began its 2021 season with a sprint race beginning at Shipyards.

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its May 3 meeting and the upcoming 20-minute makeover.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland met with MP Larry Bagnell and representatives from the Tourism Industry Association via Zoom on May 4. (Facebook)
Deputy Prime Minister talks tourism in “virtual visit” to the Yukon

Tourism operators discussed the budget with Freeland

Most Read