Telus has now added a $1 million cellphone tower between Terrace and Prince Rupert along Hwy 16, a project that expands cellphone coverage along that stretch of road.
It means there’s an additional 20km of coverage, helping fill a gap in what was the longest stretch of Hwy 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert without service.
“The site is located 60km west of Terrace, and we now provide coverage to more than 70 per cent of the highway between Prince Rupert and Prince George,” explains Telus official Liz Sauve of the work.
The new tower makes for eight between Terrace and Prince Rupert and 24 in total between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
Telus has also expanded cell coverage east of Terrace along Hwy 16.
“To roughly break down our coverage area along the highway, we have coverage between Smithers to Bulkley Canyon and from Hazelton to Cedarvale,” says Sauve of points east of Terrace.
Telus CEO Darren Entwhistle said the new tower, and other work, is important to rural and remote areas of the province.
“The introduction of our wireless service in remote areas of the province, including Indigenous communities, allows us to extend life-changing technology into some of our province’s historically underserved regions,” he says.
Calls for better cell phone connections in the northwest have been made in the past several years by local elected officials and others.
Directors of the North West Regional Hospital District, for example, have pressed provincial officials for better broadband service and cell coverage, citing their need should there be medical emergencies requiring a timely response.
“This stretch of Hwy 16 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,” adds Chastity Davis, the chair of a provincial government advisory council concerning issues pertaining to Indigenous women.