The following press release was issued by Northwestel. I don't work for
Northwestel, but I thought that readers of Telecom Digest might find this
Seasonal Telecommunications Disruptions Coming Soon
Northwestel is reminding northern communities that receive
telecommunications services via satellite that their
telecommunications services may be affected by minor disruptions
throughout the next few weeks.
Beginning October 5th and ending October 18th, these communities may
notice short telecommunications interruptions because of a phenomenon
called "sun transit."
Sun transit occurs twice annually, both in the spring and fall, when
satellites pass directly between the sun and satellite dishes on
earth. The natural radio frequency noise from the sun is stronger than
the satellite signals, which results in a brief service degradation.
Northerners may notice noise, fading, or interruptions to long
distance, data and television services that are carried via satellite.
The exact time of the sun transit disruptions depends both on the
location of the satellite being affected and the geographic location
of the earth station receiving the signals.
"The disruptions are usually so brief that many people don't notice
them," said Anne Kennedy, Northwestel Public Affairs Director. "This
fall, they'll occur during a 40-minute period that will begin either
around noon, or in the early to mid-afternoon, depending on which area
of the North you are located in,"
Local telephone service will not be affected.
"There is nothing that can be done to prevent sun transit disruptions,
because they are a natural phenomenon," added Kennedy. "If customers
do have trouble when trying to place long distance calls or with data
transmissions, we recommend that they wait a few moments and then try
again. The disruption is likely to be over when they try a second
For more information on the effect of sun transit on satellite
transmissions, check Telesat's website at
Northwestel provides complete telecommunications solutions for the
110,000 residents of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and
northern British Columbia. The company's operations span nearly 4
million square kilometres of the most remote and rugged areas of
Canada. All of the company's nearly 600 employees are northern
residents. Established over 50 years ago, Northwestel is a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Canada.