August 15, 2022

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Bygda Sørvær without internet and mobile since Christmas Eve - VG

Bygda Sørvær without internet and mobile since Christmas Eve – VG

Hasvik Mayor Eva Haspi

Since Christmas Eve, those who live in the small village of Sorveer in Finnmark have been without internet and a mobile phone. The saddest thing is that people were unable to contact their loved ones across the country on Christmas Eve.

– I have received confirmation that those who live in Surfer have been without a mobile phone and internet since December 23, Mayor Eva Hosby tells VG.

She is assessed in Hasvik, where Sørvær is located. The village is located on the island of Sørøya off the coast of Finnmark, and about 150 people live in it.

– Hosby says the reason they don’t have a mobile phone and internet is because bad weather has damaged the fiber cable.

She comes straight from Sørvær when VG calls, and says those she’s spoken to aren’t necessarily afraid.

– There were not many who said they were afraid. But many of the people I’ve spoken to say it’s sad not being able to call their loved ones across the country on Christmas Eve.

On the municipal side, they chose not to put emergency preparedness in place.

– We are in close dialogue with Telenor and there is a lifeboat permanently in Sørvær. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that we do not put emergency preparedness.

Telenor’s coverage manager, Bjørn Amundsen, told VG that the error was due to one of their base stations.

Telenor’s coverage manager, Bjørn Amundsen, told VG that the fault was due to one of their base stations, which they had rented from Hammerfest Energi, which had been destroyed.

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– We have several base stations in Hasvik. One of the main stations is not working, and since the weather was so bad it was not possible to travel to Sørvær to get it fixed.

– I have a great understanding that people think it’s embarrassing not to have a TV or a cell phone on Christmas Eve, and I hope Hammerfest Energi gets into this problem tomorrow. But they’re the ones who have to answer when it’s justified to travel to Surfer to have it fixed, Amundsen says.

He also assures that drive a maximum of five minutes to get mobile coverage, and there is coverage mostly from other base stations at sea.

– but he concludes that it is sad, of course, that the result should be this way.

According to rapporteur Eva Hosby, the weather has really improved now. So, I thought the fiber cable would be fixed tomorrow.

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Hammerfest Energi Bredbånd’s acting general manager, Kato Berntsen, told VG they were already there on Christmas Eve, but weather conditions meant they had to cancel.

– It was also difficult to get out to Surfer today due to local transportation, because there are no boats or ferries that can take our mechanics during the holidays. But now we’ve spoken to the municipality who put up a ferry for us tomorrow morning.

-Based on the weather forecast, it looks like we’ll be able to be in Surfer around 11.00 on Sunday to fix the problem, says Berntsen.

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