Commuters travelling between Sooke and Port Renfrew on Highway 14 will now have access to cell service when before there was none.
The province announced on May 4th that seven new cell towers have been erected and completed which will give people along that route new access to cell service going forward.
BC put in nearly $5 million and Rogers Communications chipped in close to $700,000 to the project which spans 70 kilomentres of highway.
“There are stunningly beautiful areas along Highway 14,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Bringing connectivity to this remote and rural area ensures that people can stay connected when travelling and enjoying this coastal landscape.”
“Government investments in cell connectivity deliver essential infrastructure, ensuring that residents, commuters and tourists can access critical services in case of an emergency and enjoy the benefits of reliable cell service.”
Part of this stretch of roadway includes the Pacheedaht First Nation among others who before this, had little access to service.
“The Pacheedaht First Nation is pleased to have worked with the Province and Rogers Communications in a productive and culturally sensitive manner in installing the cell towers on our traditional lands, and to see this project being implemented and come to fruition,” said Chief Jeff Jones of the Pacheedaht First Nation.
“There are challenges in constructing such a network in the rugged terrain of our land, along a road that is potentially hazardous during bad weather.”
“Cell phone connectivity will enhance the quality of life, administration, operations, safety, security and economic development of the greater community of Pacheedaht and Port Renfrew,” he added.
According to the province, there are 15,000 kilometres of highways in BC. As of December of last year, 72% of those roads had cell service while the remaining 28% had none.
The federal and provincial governments say they are actively investing in bringing cell service and broadband internet to all underserviced areas in BC by 2027.