Fort Liard construction took out 9-1-1, phones and TV, NWTel says

Last modified: June 11, 2022 at 6:06pm

A construction crew in Fort Liard is responsible for the demise of 9-1-1 and other services across the Northwest Territories on Saturday, a leading telecoms provider said.

Northwestel, the territory’s dominant communications company, said in a tweet that workers in the Dehcho community had “dug up a Northwestel fibre line.”

The company said landlines, cellphone service, 9-1-1 and TV channels had been disrupted in both the Yukon and Northwest Territories as a result.


“We are working to restore services,” Northwestel said at 6pm on Saturday.

In a post to its Facebook page, the territorial government stated: “There is an incident that has caused a disruption to 9-1-1 service. People are asked to use an alternative means of contacting local emergency services.”

The territory told residents who need assistance to go to their RCMP detachment or health centre if they could not reach those services via their local direct lines.

The RCMP maintains a list of NWT detachment phone numbers on its website, and the NWT government provides a list of health centres by community. Fire departments are reached in NWT communities by dialling the area code, three-digit local prefix, then 2222.

NWT RCMP, in a separate statement, acknowledged there had been “a partial communication disruption affecting various communities in the NWT” that was expected to last for “several hours.”


Residents in Inuvik and Yellowknife each reported problems either using landlines or accessing some cable channels.