Internet service across the North has been restored after a landslide caused an outage for several hours on Saturday and Sunday. (Yukon News file)

Yukoners lose internet, TV, cell phone service after Northwestel line severed by landslide

Shorter disruptions may be possible as the company does repair work in northern B.C.

A number of telecommunications services were cut off in the Yukon the evening of July 11 after a landslide in northern British Columbia severed Northwestel’s fibre line.

Northwestel users in the Yukon lost internet, television and cell phone services as well as the ability to make long-distance calls from landlines around 6 p.m. Saturday.

Some customers in British Columbia as well as the other territories were also impacted.

Northwestel spokesperson Andrew Anderson said in an email July 13 that technicians identified the damage in the early morning of July 12 and were able to make a temporary repair. However, he wrote, the “affected region has had considerable rain, leading to unstable ground and making permanent repairs complex.”

As a result, some more repair work was done in the early morning of July 13, resulting in another disruption to services that lasted about 90 minutes.

Anderson said that more repair work is scheduled to take place at 1 a.m. on July 14, and while every “effort will be made to complete the repairs without any further disruption to service,” there’s a potential for another disruption “to last anywhere from a few minutes to 90 minutes after 1 a.m. … as repairs are completed.”

“We apologize to our customers for these very unfortunate disruptions,” he wrote. “Our focus is on completing permanent and safe repairs to the fibre line.”

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

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