One of the longest sections of Highway 16 without cellphone service now has wireless service, thanks to a $1 million investment by TELUS.
Construction of the new cellular site along Highway 16, 60 kilometres west of Terrace, was completed in December. The cell tower provides service to a 20-km section of highway and closes one of the biggest gaps in the company's wireless network along the highway.
"This investment will ensure that residents and visitors alike can travel this stretch of highway with a sense of security, knowing they can call for assistance in the event of a roadside emergency," TELUS president and CEO Darren Entwistle said in a press release. "This connectivity is of critical importance, particularly during the treacherous winter conditions experienced in this part of our province. Moreover, our TELUS team shares the province’s vision of connecting the entirety of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, and we look forward to collaborating with our government to bring additional coverage to the area in the future.”
TELUS said its network now covers 70 per cent of the highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert. The company has invested $350 million in expanding its network and services in northern B.C. since 2013.
“Cell coverage in areas of northern British Columbia and along the Highway of Tears is a priority and can be a part of safety planning for Indigenous women and girls,” said Chastity Davis, chairperson of the Minister’s Advocacy Council on Indigenous Women, in a press release. “This stretch of highway has long needed to have access to cell coverage and is one piece of a much larger solution that we must all be committed to addressing and investing in for the safety of Indigenous women and girls."