The Achilles’ heel of the northwest was revealed over the weekend when a lone tree severed internet and phone services, leaving people from Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert to Smithers in a state of panic.
Some became so desperate in trying to connect they actually called their friends to make plans… and to ask, “Hey, is your internet out too?”
Despite the damaged hydro lines the lights stayed on in the darkest reaches of the province, the absence of internet left people listless and even bored. For some, books were dusted off and read, DVDs were pulled from the basement and watched, and couples found time to rekindle a lost flame that for months had been absorbed by Netflix binge-watching.
For one night, from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 2:30 a.m. Sunday, to be exact, we all realized just how remote we are in the northwest. The timing was also perfect for CityWest. Since the subsea cable was annouced linking Rupert and Haida Gwaii to the mainland lines, people have been scratching their heads wondering why a $45 million internet line is needed.
Well, here it is folks: one tree can bring down our solitary internet line linking us to Prince George. Hold your breath because three years from now we’ll have a backup internet cable that is hopefully fish-proof. Yeah, sharks apparently have enjoyed the taste of fibre-optic cables.