Internet restored in Ulukhaktok as blizzard touches down

·1 min read
A view of a street in Ulukhaktok, N.W.T. Internet has been restored in the community after nearly eight days of spotty service. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC - image credit)
A view of a street in Ulukhaktok, N.W.T. Internet has been restored in the community after nearly eight days of spotty service. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC - image credit)

Ulukhaktok, N.W.T. residents are hunkering down at home as they face a blizzard, but thankfully, their internet has been restored.

"This the longest [internet outage] it's been," said Ulukhaktok Mayor Joshua Oliktoak. "I guess it was getting hard for some people, so I'm very thankful that it was resolved so people are able to get what they need before they have to stay in … everything is shut-down except for the stores."

The internet was in and out for nearly eight days before Northwestel fixed the issue Thursday evening, the company confirmed.

It said a "technical issue" had caused "internet network congestion" in the community.

Residents had been trying to alert the company to the internet problem, but, said a Northwestel spokesperson, during the outage period "data was still flowing in and out of the community and we did not fully realize the impact it was having on customers."

The internet outage was so widespread that it even affected residents' ability to pay for groceries and gas.

Oliktoak said Friday afternoon that the internet returning meant community members could pick up groceries and supplies before the blizzard got too bad.

"We are fortunate it got fixed before the weekend," said Oliktoak. "Right now it's real bad. Some people can't see across the road."