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CBC News: Yukon phone outage blamed on aging infrastructure

Bell has made it clear that should their takeover of Astral Media go through, they would use 'tangible benefits' (an owed tax on the $3.4B purchase) to fund the expansion of their subsidiary Northwestel. Having already received annual CRTC payments of $20M to invest in their aging infrastructure, Bell has been criticized for mismanaging funds that could have prevented last week's communications outage. Speak out at and help tell the CRTC that Bell's ascending vertical integration is bad for Canadians. Article from CBC News Yukon’s massive communications shutdown Thursday has some thinking it's time to upgrade the territory's aging telecommunications infrastructure. Andrew Robulack, an IT analyst and blogger in Whitehorse, said the latest outage is disappointing but not surprising. "We have a really strong dependency on a really weak infrastructure — single provider in most cases, single network links in or out of our region — and as the CRTC pointed out recently, the equipment is aging,” he said.

“We shouldn't even be depending on it anymore so it's kind of like the total situation is set up for failures."

Cell service, land lines, internet and 911 were all down for about half the day Thursday in Yukon and the Mackenzie Delta region of N.W.T. due to a problem at Northwestel’s central office in Whitehorse that began following a territory-wide power outage. Some services in Iqaluit were also affected.

Without 911 service, ambulances were posted on key streets in Whitehorse for citizens needing help and firefighters also stood by outside their hall as a sort of beacon in case of an emergency.

Businesses were unable to process debit and credit card transactions, and ATM machines were down.

Government officials and Northwestel are trying to figure out what happened.

“Over the next few days, the next week we'll be going to do a full network investigation,” said Curtis Shaw, a spokesperson for Northwestel.

He said he can't explain a technical reason for the failure but said it's a serious issue the communications company doesn't want to see repeated. Read more »

Read more at CBC News

Speak out against Bell's tightening grip on Canadian communications at

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