Much of Atlantic Canada hit by major cellphone, internet service outage

Cellphone service has gone down in large swaths of Atlantic Canada
Getty Images Cellphone service has gone down in large swaths of Atlantic Canada
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05 August, 2017

Bell called it a "major service outage" affecting internet, TV, wireless and landline phones, with landline 911 service intermittent.

"911 services is still available for all customers on the Bell network, including Telus, Virgin and Koodo", the city said.

A tweet from the Emergency Measures Organization in the province said the best way to reach 911 was through a landline as of noon local time.

By Friday afternoon problems with debit and interact services created long lineups in some stores and forced others to shut altogether.

Halifax Stanfield airport said some flights were affected, and Air Canada said computer issues were impacting flights at multiple Canadian airports. Communications problems have been plaguing the Newfoundland, Toronto, New Brunswick, Ottawa, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island region since early this morning.

The company says it is investigating and working to restore service.

Halifax Fire is now using a back-up paging service to communicate with crews, and has requested that all available volunteer firefighters report to unstaffed stations immediately.

While 911 service is working in Nova Scotia, customers are asked to use landlines to make calls to the emergency line. The constabulary urged residents to stop calling 911 just to "test" the system to see if it is back up and running yet, CTV News reports.

Gander Fire/Rescue in Newfoundland, for example, said in a tweet that 911 wasn't working for them and provided an alternate number.

The New Brunswick Justice and Public Safety Department is advising the residents they serve that the lack of a functional 911 system may hinder services by first responders.

"Emergency response agencies and critical infrastructure owners/operators have contingency plans for telecommunications outages and these plans are now being put into place. Our teams are working to re-establish service as soon as possible".

It appears to be affecting 911 service across the region, and people are being advised to use non-emergency numbers to contact emergency services.

Nova Scotia's Emergency Health Services has ordered all ambulances and on-duty crews to return to their stations and monitor their tablets for emergency calls.


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