The last 24 hours has been extremely challenging for everyone in British Columbia, and the effects of the severe weather events have had far reaching implications. Extreme weather events in southern British Columbia led to torrential rain and massive landslides across the province, which has had massive effects across the Telecom Industry.
As a direct result, outages are being felt by virtually every large telecom provider across Canada, as major network facilities common to several major network providers have been physically impaired by the weather, and restoration efforts are impaired by emergency services.
Distributel and Iristel have experienced a massive and unprecedented impact to their national core network including the redundant connections and systems they had in place that tie together their network.
Here is a summary of events, and what they are doing right now to fully restore essential services and re-establish business activities.
Summary of Events
Distributel & Thinktel have mulltiple core network sites in Vancouver, BC. Ssites are in independent carrier grade Data Centers. The network sites house several key platforms that are critical in delivering your voice and data services.
These carriers have multiple independent diverse paths from multiple carriers in place from both Vancouver core sites to connect back to the rest of the network. These paths traverse a diverse set of major telco partner networks serving southern BC and the US.
On Sunday night they lost one of the core connections because of a landslide in BC, however there were no customer impacts due to the engineered redundancy in the network.
On Monday afternoon, several landslides in Southern BC took out major highways and railways, resulting in major cuts to two more of their diverse fiber paths provided by our other major telco partner. This resulted in initial set of outages for both our customers and our telco partner’s customers.
The engineering team worked tirelessly to restore many services using alternate routes from another major telecom provider. Almost immediately upon restoral, at approximately, another set of extreme weather events in the region caused an outage in alternate carrier partner paths. Removing all links to Vancouver connecting our core sites to the rest of our network.
Distributel & Iristel both have have additional paths through the US for select traffic which also lost connectivity as it comes into Vancouver through the northwest US, which is facing similar weather conditions.
The biggest challenge we continue to face is to restore physical connectivity with the Vancouver core site, which requires access to the regions directly affected by the landslides. Emergency Services have been restricted from accessing the area, prioritizing evacuation and rescue operations.
Our team has worked throughout the night to restore as many services as possible using temporary solutions, identifying alternate paths to our core network site in Vancouver. While it’s important to us that we are able to provide you access to your services, we do fully recognize that these services are not being delivered at the service level we expect, until our carriers can fully restore the primary routes to the Vancouver core site.
During the process of restoration, we are working closely with our telecom partners to bring back services on our collective networks.
We are continuing to monitor our telecom partners’ efforts for the physical restoration of the fiber circuits in areas directly impacted by the landslides. We do not have an ETA yet, as Emergency services remain a priority.
Our engineering team is actively working to bring back online all services with maximum service levels as quickly as possible. Our Business Technical Support team together with your Account team will keep you updated on service restoral efforts, specific to your account.
Once we are fully back in operations, we will be reviewing our network design, disaster recovery plans, to see how we can improve our response to these unforeseen natural weather events.
Your business is important to us, rest assured we are doing everything possible to get you back up in full operations.