Fibre cut caused by fallen trees disrupts services for CityWest customers

Feb 04, 2018

CityWest customers had their Internet and phone services knocked out the night of Feb. 3, after multiple trees knocked out a hydro line east of Terrace.

After being hit by the trees, the broken hydro lines burned through a fibre line that is the main transport which provides Internet, phone, and some TV services for CityWest customers. Not all services were down; CityWest was still able to provide some TV channels to customers during the outage.

“In my 25 years of experience, I’ve never seen a main transport cable knocked out like that,” said Bart Kuntz, Vice President of Outside Plant for CityWest.

Most of the Internet, TV, and phone data provided to customers in the North rides along that fibre line. While portions of it are buried next to Highway 16, some of it is strung along telephone poles between Terrace and Prince George.

“This is one of the main reasons we have been working towards a project to lay a subsea fibre connection from Prince Rupert to Vancouver Island,” said Chris Marett, CEO of City West. “Once it’s built, that subsea fibre line will give us redundancy – so if a cut like this happens, it would switch over to the line going south from Rupert, and our customers’ experience would not be interrupted.

“I’d like to thank the federal and provincial governments for recognizing the redundancy issue and supporting us in the subsea fibre project.”

Services were restored at 2 a.m. in the early morning of Feb. 4. Some CityWest customers in Gossen, Kleanza, and Usk are still without services, but technicians are on-site working to restore services by this afternoon. UPDATE: services in Gossen, Kleanza, and Usk were restored at 2:45 p.m. Feb. 4.

(For more on the subsea fibre line, click here.)