Rogers cell phones now usable on Haida Gwaii

  • Sat Mar 28th, 2015 9:00am
  • News

By Quinn BenderHaida Gwaii Observer Rogers Wireless has opened limited service on Haida Gwaii, but the new offerings won’t be of much importance to full-time residents as they will to existing Rogers customers visiting from off-island.Rogers entered agreements with Bell and Telus for existing customers to roam off the other two carriers’ signals in certain remote areas. At no extra charge, Rogers customers can now visit the islands and have full access to send and receive phone calls, texts and data in amounts allowable under their regular plan. The service came into effect earlier this month.Prior to this, phones on a Rogers plan couldn’t receive any signal on island whatsoever.The new Extended Coverage program is still in its testing phase, but is fully operational in the six major villages and accessible on most the length of the highway.Rogers says more than 90 per cent of their plans qualify for Extended Coverage, which is meant to be used by customers who live within the Rogers network but happen to travel occasionally into Extended Coverage areas.Historically, Haida Gwaii has lagged behind much of the province with cellular service options. The new Rogers initiative comes as an independent company, RuralCom is now installing a small-cell network across the islands, with the aim providing wider, cheaper coverage currently offered by Telus by the end of the year.