Telus 30-metre cell tower at 22 Park Street in Port Clements has been live since March. Representatives from Port Clements, Telus Minister of Citizens Services Jinny Sims and Jennifer Rice celebrate the wireless connectivity one more rural community in B.C. now has access to. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Rice)

Internet fully restored?

Repair crews were on Mt. Hayes March. 2

  • Mar. 6, 2020 1:30 a.m.

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.

READ MORE: Island internet outage

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.

READ MORE: Port Clements gets cell service

“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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