Gwaii Communications announced that internet should be fully restored by 2 p.m. on March 2.
“Tower crews are up on Mt. Hayes working to fix the arm. I’ve been told hopefully the internet will be back on by 2 p.m.,” the recorded voice mail greeting said on Monday morning.
The company’s voice mail message has been frequently updated with notifications advising customers of the internet status after Haida Gwaii lost all internet communications on Jan. 31 due to a technical issue with the radio tower. The broad band radio tower which provides internet to Haida Gwaii is located on Mt. Hayes near Prince Rupert. Inclement weather conditions caused significant damage to the radio link infrastructure.
Calls to GwaiiTel and messages left were not returned.
Some customers did have partial services return, GwaiiTel said, on it’s Feb. 23 Facebook update.
“Our radio link has been restored at partial capacity. For those of you just getting back on please note that this outage was as a result of weather and we have had the parts and tower crew on site since the morning of the outage but they have not been able to conduct work at the tower site until today as a result of weather, ”
Repairs were hampered due to heavy snow, freezing rain, fog, which limited access to the tower. Once repair crews arrived at the tower they were unable to climb, once again due to the weather.
“Safety is of course paramount in situations like this. The link is still vulnerable to severe weather and running a partial capacity but once a new antenna is installed these issues will be resolved,”
“The current link was custom designed for these operating conditions. The hurricane kits are designed for signicantly higher winds….. But it is still a vulnerable part of the system and we are investigating various options to make the link more resilient, ” said GwaiiTel in a Facebook comment.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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