NEW Several Banks Closed Due to Lack of Phone Service

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What caused the massive communications outage in Canada remains unknown.

It offers no information about what may have caused the cut cable, or where the cable is located. Wireless 911 service is operational but landline 911 service is intermittent. "We can't call Bell Aliant".

Providers such as Telus and Bell have been fielding online complaints from users reporting a lack of service, saying they are "looking into" the issues.

New Brunswick's Justice and Public Safety department said there may be impacts on 911 and first responder services.

In St. John's, N.L., Lauren Halliday said the outage came at a particularly bad time for her family: her sister is about to give birth.

"Emergency response agencies and critical infrastructure owners/operators have contingency plans for telecommunications outages and these plans are now being put into place".

"If 911 does not work, we advise residents to contact the appropriate agencies on their non-emergency line", she said.

Bell confirmed the disruption in a statement on Friday. Both Telus and Bell customers have been impacted throughout eastern Canada since this morning. WestJet said its Moncton call centre is "offline", and asked customers to call later unless the matter was urgent.

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In the meantime, the service outages are preventing local emergency services from communicating with the public as well as personnel.

Anyone who experiences an emergency and is unable to get through using 911 is advised to go to the Saint John Police Force headquarters at Peel Plaza or to the nearest Saint John Fire Department station, where 911 emergency call boxes are located. "We are sorry for the interruption, we will keep you informed".

Ambulance New Brunswick turned to Twitter to advise its crews of the situation, urging them to immediately return to their stations and monitor their tablets for calls.

Many banks are closed for the time being as a security measure.

Telus said on its website that a "possible fibre cut on Bell network" was to blame. "Our teams are working to re-establish service as soon as possible".

There is no word yet on when that might be.

A Bell map indicated cellphone outages in Halifax, St. John's, N.L., Saint John, N.B., Prince Edward Island, and Fredericton, among other places.

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