Funding Will Improve Cell Phone Service in Remote Areas

March 23, 2023

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

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.

“This $75-million infusion to the Connecting British Columbia program will result in increased safety for all those who live and travel in remote and isolated areas of our province. Improving connectivity in rural and Indigenous communities will strengthen community resiliency, providing timely access to information in case of emergency and encouraging entrepreneurial activities. Northern Development applauds the Province of B.C. for investing in cellular connectivity and we look forward to administering this new phase of the Connecting British Columbia program,” said Joel McKay, CEO of the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

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.

“Connectivity between the public and first responders is a critical step in the city’s ability to respond to and mitigate incidents in Campbell River and surrounding areas on Vancouver Island. Infrastructure upgrades in British Columbia support this critical step and improve Canadian’s abilities to reach 911 in an emergency, which is potentially life-saving,” said Dan Verdun, fire chief, City of Campbell River.

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