Beaver Causes Mass Internet and Cell Service Outage in B.C., Canada

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Many residents of northwestern B.C. (British Columbia) were left without internet, landline, and cellular service for more than eight hours earlier this month on June 7, and officials have now identified the surprising cause: a single, pesky beaver. CTV News reports that the rodent “gnawed its way through an aspen tree,” which ended up falling on power lines and a Telus fiber-optic cable strung between Topley and Houston, resulting in a bad day for residents who required connectivity. Only 21 customers were affected by the power outage, but the damage to optical fiber is said to have affected Telus customers in many regions, including “Burns Lake, Granisle, Haida Gwaii, the Hazeltons, Kitimat, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace, Thornhill, Houston, Topley, Telkwa, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof.” Telus is one of Canada’s major telecommunications companies, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C.

“It’s unusual, but it does happen every once in a while,” Gammer said. “So I wouldn’t be a rich man if I had a nickel for every beaver outage, but they do happen.”

BC Hydro official Bob Gammer said crews identified a beaver as the culprit because of chew marks at the bottom of the downed tree.

The lines are located in a swampy area and with the high water levels, there was some difficluty accessing the site, he added.

The felled tree did result in a fire which was responded to by members of the Topley Volunteer Fire Department.

While some enjoyed the unconnected afternoon, the service outage created stress for others because many businesses could only accept cash.

Source: CTV News

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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