Widespread landline and cellphone outages hit Bell’s network in Atlantic Canada for several hours Friday, cutting off some users from 911 service and impacting police and paramedics in the region.
Service started being restored to some customers around 2:45 p.m. AT. It’s unclear when full service will be restored.
Telus shares cell towers with Bell and said the cause of the outage was identified as a cut cable, affecting 885 LTE cell sites across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland. The company is posting updates on the service interruption.
Bell Aliant says the outage impacted internet, wireless, television and landline phone services, and began at around 11:20 AT.
Users of Virgin and Koodo, which also use Bell’s towers, were also affected.
Major Bell Internet, wireless, TV, landline outage in Atlantic. Wireless 911 operational. We apologize and are working to restore service.
Bell says its wireless 911 service is working but landline 911 “is intermittent.”
“Bell apologizes for this situation and we are working to restore service as quickly as possible,” said Nathan Gibson, a spokesperson for Bell Canada, the parent company of Bell Aliant.
If you’re trying to contact your local RCMP detachment and can’t get through, call 1-800-272-9569 or 902-893-1323.
Eastlink says its service is not impacted but customers may experience problems if they are trying to call people on other networks. Rogers says its service and Fido’s was not affected.
Emergency service organizations across the region have been asking people to use landlines to contact them in emergency situations.
Officials in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick say 911 service itself is not being impacted, but people whose phones are down may not be able to call.
2/2 We require all on-duty crews to immediately return to your station. Monitor your tablets from the station for calls. #EHSOutageAug417
Halifax Regional Police and Cape Breton Regional Police say they are able to respond to calls coming in through 911 and their non-emergency lines.
In Prince Edward Island, RCMP are also advising people to call their non-emergency landlines.
A spokesperson for P.E.I Public Safety said people without service who need 911 services will need to use the emergency call feature on their phone. That will connect them to a working cell tower from another provider.
We’re asking all volunteer firefighters…