Ground shifting was the cause of not another SaskPower meter box fire, rather a loss of cell service and slow internet on Tuesday.
Greg Jacobs, a spokesperson for SaskTel, said the last time this happened was two years ago.
“Having a cable stretched or broken because of ground shifting isn’t that common,” he said. “It’d be more common for a cable to be cut because of agricultural work or because of construction work.”
The outage with SaskTel affected customers in Bulyea, Cupar, Glen Harbour, Govan, Kawacatoose First Nation, Lumsden, Nokomis, Punnichy, Raymore, Saskatchewan Beach, Sorenson Beach and Strasbourg.
Jacobs said he understands it might have been frustrating for some customers as the repair took longer than what anticipated.
“When you have other cable cuts and things like that, there’s usually evidence to indicate where the cut happened,” he said. “(You can see) a hole’s been dug, or you can see some disturbances in the ground but with the ground shifting from yesterday there wasn’t very apparent signs on the surface as to what happened. So it took a long time for our technicians to groom the line and to identify the actually location of the outage.”
The outage lasted from around 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday until 8:45 p.m.
Jacobs added that although ground shifting is causing a problem with SaskPower meter boxes, it’s not something they expect to cause problems for SaskTel customers in the future. He said SaskTel’s incidents of outages have actually been down year over year.