Suspected vandalism to blame for Telus outage on North Island, company says

Suspected vandalism to blame for Telus outage on North Island, company says

Telus is reporting an outage that affected “multiple locations in British Columbia,” including North Vancouver Island, due to suspected vandalism at its regional office.

The communications company said around 3 p.m. Monday that about 300 customers in the Port McNeill and Kingcome Inlet areas may still be without internet.

It says home phone and 911 landline services were also impacted but have since been restored.

On its website, the company says the outage was reported around 9:30 p.m. Sunday after damage was “inflicted upon TELUS infrastructure.”

A spokesperson tells CHEK News that RCMP have been notified and are on scene.

They say the outage was due to “a suspected break-in and vandalism at a regional TELUS office. The incident seems to have occurred sometime late last night.”

RCMP say the break-and-enter was at the facility on Furney Place, where an exterior door had been pried open and infrastructure was damaged.

“Assessment of the damage and the police investigation are both ongoing,” said RCMP.

In an email, a resident said services were “down all over the North (Island).”

At the time, Telus noted that it was “experiencing a disruption impacting landline phones, which may affect your ability to reach emergency (911) services.”

People can visit the Port McNeill RCMP website, Port McNeill Fire Department website, or BC Emergency Health Services website for direct contact information.

Debit payment issues at ferry terminal

BC Ferries calls the outage unanticipated and says it’s impacting payment transactions at its terminal in Port McNeill. 

Staff at the terminal are “unable to process debit card transactions at this time,” the ferry company said in a notice just before 1 p.m. Monday.

“We ask that those travelling out of this terminal arrive prepared to pay with cash, credit card or Experience Card until further notice.”

Sailings departing the Port McNeill terminal provide service to Cormorant Island (Alert Bay) and Malcolm Island (Sointula) on a first-come, first-served basis.

Telus said technicians were on-site and repairs were underway.

“Service has been restored to a majority of customers, with repair efforts continuing on the remaining cable damage,” reads the update around 3 p.m.

Telus is apologizing to customers for any inconvenience, adding, “We recognize how this interruption may impact you, and we appreciate your patience as we work to restore services as quickly as possible.”

BC Ferries says it will provide an update once Telus service has been fully restored.

People can visit the ferry company’s website or follow its X (formerly Twitter) account for up-to-date sailing and departure information.

RCMP are asking anyone with information about the break-in to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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