0430 GMT May 17, 2021
The outage wreaked havoc on the Internet, cable television and local cell phone service of about 1,000 Telus customers in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia – a town with only about 2,000 people total. The service provider described the 36-hour outage as a "very rare and uniquely Canadian disruption," cbsnews.com wrote.
"Our team immediately worked to identify the location of the damage and discovered that the cause of this fiber cut is fairly unique – beavers have chewed through our fiber cable at multiple points, causing extensive damage," spokesperson for Telus Communications Inc., Liz Sauve, told CBS News on Monday. "Our team located a nearby dam, and it appears the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch-thick conduit."
Sauve said that the beavers chewed through both the conduit and the cable in multiple locations. Photos of the incident show some of the damage, including some of the fiber marking tape the beavers used to build their dam.
"Our crews brought in additional equipment and technicians to help expose the cable and determine how far the damage continued up the line," Sauve said. "We have some overlapping wireless service in the community from other nearby cell towers, but cell phone service will be spotty or disrupted for many of our customers in the area."
Sauve said that a crew worked "around the clock under challenging conditions" to fix the issue. Service was first interrupted to the area early Saturday morning and finally restored around 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
"We know how critical connectivity is to our customers, and we are very sorry for this interruption," Sauve said.