Breadalbane resident raises concerns about the reliability of landlines

·2 min read
Alex Patterson says she worries what would happen in an emergency when her landline is out. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
Alex Patterson says she worries what would happen in an emergency when her landline is out. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

A woman in rural P.E.I. is worried about the reliability of her landline service, especially in case of emergency.

Alex Patterson lives on Dixon Road in Breadalbane, P.E.I. She said she worries for seniors in the area when they lose service because they may not have access to cellphones.

"The reality is the wireless services in our particular area are appalling," she said. "I have a cellphone and I can't use it.

"One of our real concerns, obviously, is in terms of … a fire and policing point of view, that there was absolutely no way for us to reach out to anyone for emergency service."

Patterson said she first lost service two weeks ago during a snowstorm.

She got service back for a day and a half five days later, but then lost it two days later in another snowstorm. She said her landline through Bell Aliant hasn't worked for 12 of the last 14 days.

"Neighbours on my road, I know at least five or six that were without it for that same period of time."


Internet service was still available in the area. Patterson and some other community members set up a group on social media to stay in touch.

"That really became the mechanism where we kept in touch with each other and let each other know how [we] were," she said.

"Other neighbours just had no mechanism for reaching out."

Patterson said she even reached out to Bell Aliant through social media and provided names and addresses for those who didn't have service.

Issues in Nova Scotia, too

Patterson noticed her phone was working again on Thursday, but she worries it could go out again in the next storm.

"This is our option," she said, adding she can't get a landline through another provider.

It is not only part of P.E.I. having issues with the service. In Nova Scotia, 300 Bell Aliant users have no landline in the Argyle area.

CBC contacted Bell Aliant for more details on the situation. Staff said an update wouldn't be available until later in the week.

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