Bell restores service to most Fredericton residents after copper theft

Residents in parts of the Fredericton area might still be without internet, TV and home phone service after another case of copper wire theft over the weekend.

Bell Aliant, the region’s primary telecom provider, confirmed shortly before 1:30 p.m. Saturday that crews were responding to the incident.

In a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, the theft meant customers in Fredericton North, Barkers Point, Pepper Creek, Lower St Mary’s and Noonan were without service.

“We are working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible,” the utility said in the post.

“Thank you for your patience.”

Officials shared an update on Sunday morning, saying crews made “great progress” overnight and had restored services to most customers.

“They continue restoration work this morning and we will keep you updated here,” Bell Aliant said in a follow-up post on X.

Bell Aliant repair crews have had to respond to several incidents of copper wire theft over the last year.

A 57-year-old man from Kingsley, N.B., was arrested in March in connection to thefts in the Fredericton and Oromocto areas.

Four others were arrested in December 2022 on similar charges.

Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of Bell Canada, took to social media in March and said provincial and federal governments need to take copper thefts more seriously.

He also said government officials should help telecom providers like Bell protect their “critical” communications infrastructure.

“Governments need to take new, timely action in priority areas such as increased fines and amendments to the criminal code,” said Bibic in March.

“These networks require urgent action on the part of government as part of Canada’s critical infrastructure.”

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