OHSWEKEN — First Nations Cable confirmed that Aecon-Six Nations construction workers cut through an underground internet cable on Friday, severing internet to First Nations Cable’s customers on Six Nations. The outage is now entering it’s sixth day.
Initial estimates said the service would be repaired by Monday. That was then extend to Tuesday afternoon. An official with A6N confirmed services were still out as of noon Wednesday.
First Nations Cable declined an interview on the matter.
The incident took place along Fourth Line, west of Chiefswood Road on the outskirts of the village of Ohsweken while A6N workers were digging to connect a local residence to the main waterline.
In a statement to TRT, Jessica Hunt, Public Relations Specialist for Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation said A6N workers informed FN Cable on Friday of the cable being severed.
Darryl Hill, Superintendent of A6N, told TRT that prior to a dig all utilities are asked to submit location details of surrounding underground cables.
Hill said that FN Cable submitted incorrect location details to A6N, which is how the incident occurred.
Hill said that A6N offered to assist splicers working on the repairs to get the service back up and running as soon as possible — but says FN Cable refused the help.
This is the second time A6N workers severed the internet services cable. Hill says the first time A6N was liable for the error but says this time because FN Cable submitted incorrect information on their locate, A6N is not accepting liability.
According to Hill, information from the cable utility stated the fibre optic cable was located six meters off the edge of the shoulder of the road. Hill said A6N workers hit the underground line four meters off the road.
Repair services for fibre optic cables are time consuming and costly due to the intricate nature of the work. Individual hair-like fibres within 72 cables needs to be fused back together by hand.
Damages for this incident are being estimated at $75,000, including costs for the six-day outage to surrounding businesses. The damages for the previous incident were $40,000.