07/14/2011 01:31 EDT | Updated 09/13/2011 05:12 EDT

Newfoundland TV, Internet Outage Caused By Cut Cables

Flickr: NicoleAbalde

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Residents and businesses in parts of Newfoundland lost television, Internet, phone and wireless services for four hours Thursday after fibre optic cables were cut in two locations.

About 70,000 customers lost services between 8:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. local time, said Ken Marshall of Rogers Cable Communications (TSX:RCI.B).

Marshall said early indications are that one fibre optic line was cut near Terra Nova, N.L., due to construction and a second line was cut on the south coast in the Rose Blanche area.

"The unfortunate part of it is that both sides were cut within an hour of each other ... quite a freakish coincidence," Marshall said.

The outages occurred in the island's larger centres, such as St. John's, Corner Brook, Gander and Grand Falls, as well as small communities covered by EastLink.

Marshall said the cut in the Rose Blanche area was under investigation but the other one was due to highway construction crews.

"Unfortunately it wouldn't be uncommon for that to happen, but when they dig they sometimes catch cables that are not intended to be caught," he said.