Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 30, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Northwestel technicians fix Pond Inlet’s downed telephone system

Nunavut hamlet’s local and long distance landline service went silent morning of June 30

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Northwestel sent two technicans from Iqaluit to Pond Inlet to fix a problem that knocked out all local and long distance landline calling in the community on the early morning of June 30. (FILE PHOTO)
Northwestel sent two technicans from Iqaluit to Pond Inlet to fix a problem that knocked out all local and long distance landline calling in the community on the early morning of June 30. (FILE PHOTO)

(Updated June 30, 5:50 p.m.)

Two Northwestel technicians have fixed a glitch that on the morning of June 30 knocked out all local and long distance landline telephone service in the community.

The technicians solved the problem by replacing a faulty piece of equipment, said Christiane Vaillancourt, Northwestel’s director of communications.

Cell-to-cell phone service, however, still worked in Pond Inlet throughout the outage, but not cell-to-landline service.

Vaillancourt said Northwestel’s local technician, using a cell phone, reported the problem around 8:15 a.m. eastern time, on June 30, saying local and long distance landline calling had gone down in Pond Inlet.

The technician also told them that “intermittent” problems had begun earlier, on the evening of June 29.

Because the local technician was unable to fix the problem, Northwestel sent two technicians from Iqaluit to Pond Inlet on a scheduled flight that arrived around 5 p.m. June 30, Vaillancourt said.

The outage caused inconvenience for local providers of government services and some concerns about emergency communications.

“Much of our maintenance service is from people calling in with things that require fixing in their housing units.  Obviously when the phones are down, this creates an inconvenience for them,” said Louis Primeau, the manager of the Pond Inlet Housing Association in an email.

The Qiniq internet service in Pond Inlet still works, which meant Qiniq users were still able to use email and other internet services.

But he said a far greater concern was emergency services, especially police and health emergencies.

Vaillancourt said Northwestel apologizes for the inconvenience caused by the outage, “especially on a holiday.”

She also said the company notified the RCMP and Emergency Services about the outage.

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