Northwestel compensates Dawson for connection woes

Wonky equipment is to blame for flaky internet service in Dawson, says Northwestel. For months, residents have been complaining to town council about poor connections and internet blackouts.

Wonky equipment is to blame for flaky internet service in Dawson, says Northwestel.

For months, residents have been complaining to town council about poor connections and internet blackouts.

That led Mayor Peter Jenkins to lodge a formal complaint on behalf of residents, said Jeff Renaud, Dawson’s chief administrative officer.

The telco has been investigating since last fall, said Sunny Patch.

“There is adequate equipment in Dawson to service the community,” she said. “We heard complaints and wanted to discover what was causing these issues and we do believe this piece of equipment is the source of these problems.”

The computerized “shelf,” which holds numerous cards of internet data, was constantly rebooting, causing roughly three-minute outages for approximately 230 clients – or half the community’s customers – said Patch.

The tricky part was this particular equipment, and the outages it was constantly causing, did not trigger any alarms, she said.

“We replaced it early last week and we’ve been monitoring it since,” Patch said on Friday. “Service does seem stable at this point.”

Letters, containing one month’s credit, were sent to affected customers on Friday, said Patch.

Every complaint triggers the company to examine its system, she said.

“We really urge our Dawson City customers to contact us when they’re having a problem,” said Patch. “It’s the most effective way to notify us and our technicians of a service interruption.”

The company has told the town’s council and government they are interested in speaking with them, she added.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

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