Lawrence Rae inspects the damage at the Malakwa Internet transmission building.

Vandals blamed for Malakwa Internet outage

More than 60 Malakwa residences without Internet due to vandalism that took place Friday, July 17.

Vandalism has left Malakwa homes and businesses without Internet.

More than 60 Malakwa residences are without Internet due to vandalism at the Internet transmission tower that took place Friday, July 17.

It is believed the vandalism occurred between midnight and 2 a.m. Later that morning, Lawrence Rae, who maintains the community Internet tower, found it had suffered an estimated $2,000 in damage.

Rae says the vandals climbed onto the structure and cut through wires and, in the process, managed to damage the radio transmitters.

“Our community is very isolated, so the Internet is used heavily,” commented Rae, adding commercial Internet customers especially are suffering.

Rae suspects the damage is the result of mischief and not of an attempt to steal the wire for profit.

“Some people think vandalism is a victimless crime, with no loss.” said Rae, arguing if there is insurance in place, there are still multiple fees involved, and the insurance rate will increase. However, the tower is run by the local community association and is not covered by insurance. So the damage will be at the expense of the community and the association.

There have been at least four other recorded incidents of vandalism on the site, including one that took place two weeks earlier.

“(The Internet) is a service that is needed by the community,” said Rae, noting it is not just monetary damage that is an issue, but also inconvenience and hardship to the entire community.

A technician will be brought in to do the required repairs, including replacement of a couple of radios and rewiring the whole building.

The estimated time of repair and recovery of the Internet is three to four days, depending on the availability of the technician.

Rae notes that this time, measures will  be taken to secure the building more thoroughly.