No more getting stranded in Alliford Bay, wondering where the Kwuna may be and no way to find out. A pay phone was installed last week at the docking site.
Shawn Hall from Telus said the pay phone was installed at the request of BC Ferries.
The area, which is 22 kilometres from Sandspit, has not been serviced by telephone in the past, so putting a new phone in was not easy, said Mr. Hall.
An underwater fibre optic cable feeds Sandspit and this cable was spliced into where it comes onto land. Three or four hundred metres of new cable along with a new pole were installed in the area. The pay phone is operating off this pole.
“It was a difficult and challenging job,” said Mr. Hall, but now there is the added advantage of being able to service any small businesses that may come into the area.
He said the installation is part of the overall contract Telus has with BC Ferries, and some sort of revenue sharing arrangement has likely been made. He didn’t have exact details, but all he knows is that BC Ferries heard there was interest in having a telephone installed there and now it’s done. Mr. Hall said the phones cost between $5,000 to $7,000 themselves, but the entire cost of the installation would have likely been more than $100,000.
Travis Glasman, Sandspit’s regional district representative, said the community has been waiting for phone service there for a long time for safety reasons. He understands that BC Ferries staff have been requesting this too. “If only for the simple reason of calling to get a ride when stranded there,” he said.
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