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Expansion of cellular coverage makes driving safer in the Cariboo

CANADA, August 9 - Cellular coverage is available for the community of Wells, northwest of Barkerville, bringing safer driving conditions to that section of Highway 26 and the Jack-of-Clubs rest area.

“For people in remote and rural areas, cellular coverage is critical for safety – especially when you’re on the road,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “With the installation of new cellular infrastructure, residents of Wells and travellers along this stretch of Highway 26 are able to stay connected and have access to emergency 911 services and other services via mobile connectivity.”

Cellular coverage means the community of Wells and people travelling along the six-kilometre stretch of Highway 26 in the Cariboo will have access to voice, data and emergency 911 services.

“These improvements in our cellular infrastructure will benefit not only the businesses and residents of Wells, but the tens of thousands of visitors to our regional anchor tourism destinations of Barkerville Historic Town and Bowron Lakes Provincial Park,” said John Massier, director Area C and vice-chair, Cariboo Regional District.

The Province has invested as much as $883,000 through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, for a total project cost of as much as $980,000. Telus Communications Inc. contributed as much as $98,000.

“Telus is committed to ensuring everyone can thrive in our digital world, no matter where they live,” said Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and chief operations officer, Telus. “We are proud to work alongside the Province to bring wireless connectivity to rural and Indigenous communities across B.C., equipping residents and businesses with the speeds and coverage they need to connect to the people and information that matter the most. More critically, over the past decade, Telus has connected more than 500 kilometres of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, bringing coverage to more than 78% of the highway and making travel safer for residents and visitors across northern B.C.”

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

In March 2022, the Province partnered with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to the remaining rural and First Nations communities that are underserved.

The plan to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet by 2027 will level the playing field for British Columbians and ensure every community has better access to jobs, education, training and health care.

Learn More:

Connectivity in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc

Northern Development Initiative Trust: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/connecting-british-columbia/

StrongerBC: BC's Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.ca/plan