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Northern B.C. getting better highway cell coverage

The province is investing an additional $75 million to expand cell coverage
cell phone driving
Make sure to pull over to use a mobile device while on the highway.

Northern British Columbians are getting better highway coverage to help improve safety for travellers.

The province 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.

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.

"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,” said Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust.

“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.”

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.