‘Senseless vandalism’ may have caused YK internet outage

Police say an act of “senseless vandalism” may be linked to widespread telecoms disruption in Yellowknife and other North Slave communities on Saturday – and they are appealing for witnesses.

Without providing details, police said they “believe a criminal act occurred” on Highway 3 between Yellowknife and Behchokǫ̀ between 7am and 7:45am on Saturday.

The RCMP’s federal investigation unit asked anyone travelling along Highway 3 at the time, and who may have seen something suspicious, to get in touch.


If you were driving in the area and had a dashcam operational during that time, police are asking to see your footage.

The outage caused disruption across the North Slave to emergency services, stores reliant on the internet for transactions, and a range of other activities.

Service was lost from Saturday morning through till the early evening.

“We take threats to our critical infrastructure very seriously. This senseless vandalism had far-reaching implications which affected the safety and comfort of the majority of NWT residents,” said RCMP Staff Sergeant Dean Riou in a news release on Tuesday.

“It is in everyone’s best interest to provide any information which could lead to police identifying the person or persons responsible.”


Police stopped short of directly linking the reported criminal act with the telecoms outage, but made clear in the news release their suspicion that the two may be linked.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Yellowknife RCMP at 867-669-1111 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.