Fifth major telephone/internet failure

Added: Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:11pm
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Downed powerlines caused a major telephone/internet failure.

Allyson Beauregard

A wide-spread interruption of telecommunications services left residents of Mansfield, Fort-Coulonge, Waltham, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, Chichester, Sheenboro, and parts of Pembroke disconnected from the world, some for many hours, September 19. Telephone, internet and cable TV were all affected. The incident occurred at about 12:45 pm near Highway 148 east of Fort-Coulonge. According to reports, a vehicle was the cause of the outage, which is currently under investigation by the Sûreté du Quebec.
MRC Pontiac Public and Civil Safety Coordinator, Julien Gagnon, immediately alerted the municipal fire departments. “The operational frequency in connection with the fire dispatch service centre located in the MRC des Collines was not affected,” he said.
 This is the fifth major failure in nine years, despite the MRC Pontiac’s numerous complaints to Bell and the CRTC about the lack of redundancy in the Pontiac’s phone system.
Warden Raymond Durocher was furious, stressing that major outages are much more that an inconvenience. “It's the security of citizens at stake; I understand the installation of an emergency line is expensive, but how much is a life worth?” he asked.
Although service providers stepped up efforts to restore service as quickly as possible, in some areas the failure persisted until the early hours of the next morning.