Emergency services unreachable as phones, internet down in parts of Northern Peninsula, says mayor

Telus spent 500-thousand dollars to build Ahousaht's cell tower, which is located in the middle of the community. (Chris Corday/CBC - image credit)
Telus spent 500-thousand dollars to build Ahousaht's cell tower, which is located in the middle of the community. (Chris Corday/CBC - image credit)
Telus spent 500-thousand dollars to build Ahousaht's cell tower, which is located in the middle of the community.
Telus spent 500-thousand dollars to build Ahousaht's cell tower, which is located in the middle of the community.

The towns of Roddickton-Bide Arm, Conche and Englee on Newfoundland's Northern Pensinsula have lost landlines, cell service and some internet service.  (Chris Corday/CBC)

The towns of Roddickton-Bide Arm, Conche and Englee have lost landlines, cell service and some internet service in an outage on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula.

Roddickton-Bide Arm Mayor Della DeMoss, mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm, said outages began to be reported around 5 p.m. on Monday.

"People are frustrated because this is not the first time it has happened to us," DeMoss told CBC News on Tuesday morning, using Wi-Fi through her satellite internet provider to make the call, which she says is the only service left standing. There was a similar outage this past winter, she said.

"We're not really sure what has happened. We don't know if a pole has gone down, if a tree has gone down over a line. At this point we don't know anything other than we're cut off from the rest of the world."

DeMoss said the outage is affecting emergency services. Residents are unable to call an ambulance, police or a fire department if needed.

"You're looking at lives on the line," she said. "How do we dispatch people in this type of situation?"

DeMoss said the town wants a sit-down conversation with internet and phone providers to see if a permanent remedy can be found.

"Cell service has got to become a bigger priority for this area. When the landlines go down the cellphones should not be going down at the same time," she said.

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