Inverness County Council Concerned about the Loss of Telephone Service during Power Outages

The municipality of Inverness County wants action to stop the loss of phone service during power outages.

District 4 councillor John MacLennan told the regular monthly meeting of Inverness Municipal Council yesterday about the loss of phone service in parts of Inverness County during the early morning hours of Jan. 3.

MacLennan said the back-up battery system for phones was not working in many communities around his and other districts.

Warden Laurie Cranton said the same thing happened in his district during a storm last fall. Upon further investigation, they determined the back-up battery system only works on older model phones that can be plugged into the wall. Cranton said they were also told there is no generator system to charge the batteries, and the back-up system is not being maintained.

Deputy warden Bonny MacIsaac said she had “several” calls on Jan. 3 so she contacted local technicians who went to check on the problem. They confirmed the back-up equipment is approximately 35 years old.

MacIsaac wants to ask the phone companies for updated equipment because many in the affected communities don’t have cellular phone service either.

Council agreed to have staff contact Bell, and revisit the issue at their committee-of-the-whole meeting on Jan. 21.

Cranton suggested having a Bell representative attend a future meeting because the issue has been going on for too long in all parts of the municipality and needs to be resolved immediately.