Ketchikan Public Utilities Telecommunications Division on Tuesday morning experienced a slowdown in the internet service it provides to the community due to a problem with a line in British Columbia.

KPU Sales, Marketing and Customer Service Division Manager Kim Simpson said in a phone late Tuesday afternoon that the problem was caused by a cut in the line near Prince Rupert.

She said that KPU usually can reroute to a different line when a problem occurs in Canada, but this damage was located prior to the alternate path, cutting off that option.

"We do have some redundancy," she explained, "we own part of GCI's fiber, so we have everybody running on that part that we own. So there is internet, it's just not as much as everybody would like to have."

In a phone call Tuesday evening, Simpson said that the cable had been repaired.

Simpson did have positive news for the future of Ketchikan's internet connectivity through KPU.

"Our partners in Canada are working on an underwater path that they're expecting to have complete late this year to early 2023, and that will be the primary path, so we won't have these fires, mudslides and things that have occurred," she said.

British Columbia also needs that underwater cable, Simpson explained.

Simpson said that the cause of this week's cable damage was not yet known by KPU staff. Cell towers also were down, causing many problems with communication.

Every telecommunications company in British Columbia had been affected, Simpson said.

She also noted that KPU plans to issue a credit to customers who were affected by the internet problems.

Simpson said that people who have questions or who would like more information can monitor the KPU Telecommunications Facebook page, or can call the KPU customer service line at 907-225-2111.