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British Columbians get better highway cell coverage

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:56 PDT, Tue March 21, 2023

The province is supporting new cellular projects that will enable better safety for travellers along key transportation routes across British Columbia.

“Access to cellular coverage is important when on the road, especially when travelling through remote and rural areas,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “With the province’s investment in new cellular infrastructure, we’re making it possible for more people to stay connected to their loved ones while travelling and have access to emergency 911 and other services via mobile connectivity.”

The Government of British Columbia is investing $75 million through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust, to help fund projects that will expand cellular to at least another 550 kilometres of highway by 2027.  

“Our government is investing in highway cell connectivity projects so people can stay connected,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island, the Premier’s liaison for connectivity. “Today’s announcement to improve access to cellular services means that people travelling on our highways will have more confidence knowing they can access maps, search for roadside services along their route, or call for help in case of an emergency.”

The funding builds on a $15-million investment made by the province for highway cellular expansion in 2020, which is supporting 532 km of additional highway cellular coverage. Projects underway include 252 km and two rest areas to complete continuous coverage along the stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, known as the Highway of Tears.

The province’s investment is part of the StrongerBC, B.C.’s Economic Plan to build back a strong economy with a focus on inclusive growth for all communities.

The province supports the expansion of highway cellular in B.C. by contributing to the overall cost of the projects led by service providers. More information regarding the program and funding eligibility will be available later in 2023.

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