A workstation at the 911 call centre in Whitehorse in 2016. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Damaged fibre line in northern B.C. caused Yukon phone outage, says Northwestel

Cell and landline service, including some 911 service, was affected for about 12 hours Sunday.

A damaged fibre optic line in northern British Columbia knocked out phone service to parts of the Yukon — including the ability to call 911 from a cell phone — for about 12 hours on March 17, a Northwestel spokesperson confirmed Monday.

Service has since been fully restored.

In an email, Northwestel director of communications Andrew Anderson wrote that the damage “impacted some people’s ability to make calls from cellular to landline or from landline to cellular in the Yukon” and also “created local landline congestion and impacted additional services in the Wonowon, B.C. area.”

Northwestel technicians were able to repair the damage the same day, Anderson wrote.

He did not immediately answer a question about what caused the damage.

Phone services were impacted from around 10 a.m. on March 17 until about 10 p.m.

Part of the service disruption included the ability to call 911 from a cell phone in the Yukon. Yukon RCMP posted messages to social media telling Yukoners to use a landline or an emergency phone located outside a police detachment if they needed emergency services instead.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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