Someone cut a fibre-optic cable on Cortes Island 17 times, causing $40K in damage: RCMP

Someone cut a fibre-optic cable on Cortes Island 17 times, causing $40K in damage: RCMP
Map of Cortes Island.

Police on Cortes Island, east of Campbell River, say someone cut a fibre-optic cable in 17 places, making it “inoperable” and causing an estimated $40,000 in damage.

On March 21, a manager at telecommunications company CityWest reported that the cable along Whaletown Road had been cut in three places. However, when RCMP arrived on scene, they learned that it had actually been cut in 17 places.

“The complainant advised the cables were cut in such a way that someone would need to have knowledge of where to cut to make them inoperable,” said Const. Rebekah Draht, media relations officer with Quadra Island RCMP.

As of Wednesday, CityWest’s website lists no outages on Cortes.

In a release, Draht says the damage is estimated at $40,000. She tells CHEK News Wednesday that Mounties are searching for who’s responsible.

“We have not found the person (or persons),” she added. “We would love any and all tips for it.”

It was back in January 2022 when Prince Rupert-based CityWest announced that construction was underway on a fibre-optic cable for Cortes, as part of the Connected Coast project to bring reliable high-speed internet to rural, remote and First Nations communities along the B.C. coast.

The project was a joint venture between CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). It cost an estimated $45.4 million and was funded by the Government of Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and the Province of B.C., according to the SRD.

CHEK News has reached out to CityWest for more details about the incident.

Quadra Island RCMP can be reached at 250-285-3631.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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