Cow Bay internet struggles
Published Wednesday, June 8, 2022 3:30PM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 8, 2022 3:38PM PDT
Shops and restaurants in Cow Bay struggled to process payments to tourists during the internet shutdown
In Prince Rupert's Cow Bay, the region-wide internet shutdown on June 7 had a serious impact on local businesses that were unable to process electronic payments. Making matters worse, it occured right as a cruise ship full of tourists came to town.
"We probably lost about 20 to 25 people who did not carry cash with them or. And there were several others that went back to their ship to acquire cash for their purchases. It's rather devastating for us when we don't have that service because we rely on it completely," said Shiney O'Neill from Ice House Art Gallery.
"It was complete pandemonium," said David Smook, Co-owner of Seahorse Trading Company.
"we just asked people to give us cash. It was a busier day for us because there was a mini cruise ship in. So, of course, it was impact. We lost some sales and we also had to kind of discount things a little bit just to make the cash transfers go through," he continued.
The mini cruise ship brought nearly 500 tourists to town for the day. Some bring thousands. For a popular spot like Cow Bay, it's critical that sales operations are running smoothly when the ships come in.
"We haven't had cruise ships for a while, but now that they're back in town, they become you start to become dependent on them and anticipate that kind of business. And purchase your product accordingly," said Smook
"It's very crucial. We need to be constantly connected just for our customers and not only that, they like to get off the ship and have Internet access. They come in here, they have Internet access, and I believe the port also has free Internet access as well. So they're rather disappointed if they can't have access," said O'Neill.
The internet shut down lasted about 9 or so hours before service returned.