TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Fire Knocks Out Phone Service in St. John's, NL

Re: Fire Knocks Out Phone Service in St. John's, NL
23 Oct 2006 04:35:17 -0700

jwillis wrote:

> Phone service is back to normal in Newfoundland after it was knocked
> out in about one third of the island late Friday night.

> The outage, lasting more than five hours, began when a power cable at
> a telephone switching station in St. John's shorted out and started a
> small fire, Bell Aliant said.

I noticed this at the time as I was configuring a firewall and my ISP
(Rogers cable) began to supply an invalid address to the WAN side of
the box. is definitely not an address that Rogers would
normally issue. Calls to tech support returned fast busy. All calls
outside the town of Portugal Cove returned fast busy. I went to sleep
knowing I could reach the local firehall if I needed to.

Things were chaotic in St John's; virtually ALL telecom was
affected. There was a fire in a power cable tray on the 2nd floor of
the (6 floor) Allandale Rd central office and the tech on-site decided
to cut off power to the entire building to fight it. This prevented
normal back-up systems and knocked out cell service, most of 911, long
distance and internet service to the mainland.

St John's is the capital and largest city on the Island of
Newfoundland off the east coast of Canada, which has a population of
more than 500,000. This is the second major outage I have experienced
here. The first was due to simultaneous cuts to the fibre optics cable
crossing the island. That one occurred during a labor dispute.

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