A problem on Anik F2 knocked out northern long-distance telephone and Internet service in 56 northern satellite communities starting just after 6:30 a.m.
Cable television service on the satellite is also disrupted across the country, including customers for StarChoice HD and Shaw Direct. The Canadian Press' wire service and data services for mining companies are similarly affected.
"Telesat is in control of the satellite and all indications are that it is healthy and can be returned to service," Telesat stated in a press release, classifying the problem as a "technical anomaly."
It gave no estimate about when service would be restored.
Anik F2 is currently pointing away from the Earth; a cause has not yet been released. But the outage is taking place around the same time that a major solar storm hit the planet. A coronal mass ejection struck the poles early in the morning of Oct. 6, causing auroral displays.
"The good news in all of this it's not a lost satellite; (Telesat) tells us they were communicating with it," said Emily Younker, a spokesperson for Anik F2 customer Northwestel, the sole provider for northern Internet and data and the main provider for phone services.
Northwestel's outage spans the northern territories of Canada as well as the upper latitudes of Alberta. Ms. Younker described this as the first such widespread outage that she was aware of, but added the communities are used to shorter local outages due to weather or other factors.
"A lot of these communities are very remote, and traditionally very isolated areas, and very self-sufficient areas."
Telesat media officials did not immediately respond to inquiries from OBJ regarding the outage.
Anik F2 provides services across North America in the C-band, Ku-band and Ka-bands. Launched in 2004, it was built by Boeing Space Systems and the 50-metre antenna array was subcontracted to Ottawa's EMS Technologies Inc.