Phone service disrupted

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PICTOU – Bell Aliant has restored online services in Atlantic Canada after a massive disruption of landline and cell phone service.

The company acknowledged the outage that occurred around mid-morning and spread throughout parts of Atlantic and Eastern Canada.

It was unable to respond to all messages due to the large volume of inquiries received. However, a media relations spokesperson said the company is working on the problem.

“Bell services in Atlantic Canada are back online following rerouting and repair of network infrastructure,” Jacqueline Michelis said. “The outage was caused by accidental damage to multiple-fibre network links.”

Advocate technical staff also reported the problem this morning but could not say at the time when service would be restored.

Landline service was later restored but cell phones were, for the most part, not working for voice calls or data in the early afternoon.

Const. Ken MacDonald of the New Glasgow Regional Police Service said the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office and Pictou County Emergency Management Office is aware of the cell outages and the Provincial Co-ordination Centre was being activated.

He said, “9-1-1 is still working but the best way to reach 9-1-1 is through a landline.

“The problem is being worked on at this time and police-fire and emergency health services are aware and are working with 9-1-1 and EMO Nova Scotia,” he said.

According to canadianoutages.com – a web site that reports on phone outages – the problems began before 9 a.m. today and the site has received messages regarding problems with phone and Internet service since then.

Some areas’ landlines are operating but they have no cell service. Some cell service providers who share cell towers with Bell are affected, while others are not.