Northwestel technicians installing OneWeb low-Earth orbit dishes in Inuvik after a wildfire damaged a fibre line. Photo: Northwestel
Northwestel says phone and internet service in the Beaufort Delta is now back to normal after around a month of slower-than-usual speeds.
Wildfires burning across some parts of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link, the fibre line connecting the region to southern Canada, had prevented repair work, the company earlier said.
Northwestel is the NWT’s dominant telecoms service provider.
The slowdown in service, which affected Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Fort McPherson, was initially acknowledged by the company in a statement on August 10.
At the time, Northwestel said it was “working to rapidly install OneWeb low-Earth orbit terminals to provide more capacity into the region.”
The company’s fibre line in the South Slave was separately hit by a wildfire several days later, triggering an outage of almost a week in communities like Hay River and Fort Smith, significantly complicating ongoing efforts to evacuate and defend those towns with nearby fires threatening them.
“While Northwestel technicians continue to work on the infrastructure over the coming days, customers in the impacted communities may experience minor disruptions to services,” the company wrote on Thursday.
“Thank you to the communities for their patience during this unprecedented period in the NWT,” Northwestel added.