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UPDATE: Internet woes continue

Severed fibre lines still affecting Prince Rupert internet
Internet connections are slow to non-functioning in Prince Rupert due to severed fibre-optic lines from a rock slide on Feb 1. Repairs are estimated to be completed by Feb. 9, CityWest said. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

The ongoing internet slow-down in Prince Rupert will continue until at least Feb.9 as repairs commence.

Many internet users are voicing their frustrations on social media and internet sites. Acknowledging the frustrations of P.R. residents, Citywest said they know the internet has become a very important part of peoples lives.

READ MORE: Internet woes for CityWest customers

CityWest is the only internet provider in the area and purchases bandwidth from a third party provider, so customers are just going to have to continue patience.

“We were frustrated too, because the rock slide and subsequent clean-up were completely out of our control. However, we know we bear some responsibility for this slow down, ” Chris Marett, CEO of CityWest said.

The internet provider is offering compensation to it’s customers by way of a two-month free upgrade on internet services, once they have been restored. Customers who already have the fastest internet package may be entitled to a 15 per cent credit being offered on their bills in place of any upgrade. Some of the complimentary internet services may also require modem upgrades and a technician to attend the residence.

“We will start the upgrade once we’re certain that the fibre cut is fixed and services are fully restored,” Marett said.

READ MORE: WEB POLL: Did you experience internet issues this weekend?

Fibre-lines were severed in multiple places along a 400 metre stretch on Feb. 1, from a rock slide near North Bend, B.C. Prince Rupert CityWest customers were left with very slow internet or no service at all.

Clean up crews need to finish removing rock and rubble before the line repairs can start. The breaks have happened in a remote area that is difficult to get to and only accessible by train.

“When the break occurred, we were only able to re-route our internet traffic through another part of our network that has a lower bandwidth capacity,” Marett said, “It was like trying to put the same amount of water through a pipe a quarter of the size. As a result our bandwidth got backed up and all of our customers experienced much slower internet speeds than they were used to.”

Customers have until Feb. 28 to contact CityWest to request the services upgrade.

K-J Millar | Journalist
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