Telecommunications repaired on Gabriola and Mudge Islands

Saturday, October 1 2016

BC Hydro had the power turned back on just before 4pm on Thursday, September 29, restoring the main line between Vancouver Island to Mudge Island. The lines which run over Dodd Narrows were severed this past Tuesday night by a crane on a barge being towed through the narrows.

Telus and Shaw were able to repair and activate their fibre-optic lines severed in the same incident, restoring service on Saturday, October 1 around 9pm (dependent on residents' locations around Gabriola and Mudge Islands.)

Richard Gillhooley with Telus Media Relations had said on Thursday the company's estimated time of restoration was over the weekend. The overhead fibre-optic line serves as the primary telecommunications link for Gabriola and Mudge Island. Land lines, internet connection, and the cellular towers on Gabriola are all dependent on the line which was cut down over Dodd Narrows.

He explained repairing the fibre-optics took longer than re-connecting power. With power, there are only two connections, at either end, which need to be hooked up.

With the Telus line alone, there are 144 connections at each end (288 total) which had to be connected by the splicer before the line could be activated.

Previous story: Depending on where homes are on Gabriola, some phones have been able to make local calls to other Gabriola addresses - but phone calls off island, including 911 calls to emergency dispatch centres.

As noted on Wednesday, residents are to still try and call 911 in any emergency. Should that phone call fail, those on land lines can try and call the Gabriola Fire Hall at 250-247-9677 where volunteers from the Gabriola Emergency Communications organization are able to contact the respective emergency responders (RCMP, BC Ambulance, Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department).

If neither 911 or the Fire Hall number can be reached, those able to travel can head to Fire Hall #1 where volunteer firefighters will be able to help them, and will be able to contact either BC Ambulance or Gabriola RCMP if those agencies are needed.