Telus to offer cell service in Port Clements this spring

“We’ll be connected to the world,” says Mayor Urs Thomas. “We’re actually now up to the 1990s.”

Port Clements’ mayor is signing his emails with a fireworks emoji today after Telus confirmed that it will offer full cellphone service in the village by early spring.

The company is building a 30-metre tower at 22 Park Street, just across from the Port Multiplex, that will provide 4G LTE wireless voice and data service to people in Port Clements and some surrounding areas.

“It’s going to be great for everybody, for business, for tourism,” said Mayor Urs Thomas.

“It’s another safety layer for the whole community.”

Speaking of safety, Thomas recalled how people came into the village office during Haida Gwaii’s latest tsunami evacuation in January to use the internet and tell off-island family members that they were okay.

“They needed internet access, and soon that’s not going to be a problem anymore — they can call out and let their families know they’re safe.”

It’s not yet clear how far the signal will carry from the new tower, but Thomas hopes it will extend well south of Port Clements along the flatter stretches of land towards Tlell. Given the amount of logging activity on and around Masset Inlet, he also hoped it would extend well across the water.

Finally getting cellphone coverage 12 years after it arrived elsewhere on Haida Gwaii should give Port Clements an easier time encouraging mid-island tourism, too.

“Tourists always come into the gas station or museum and ask, ‘Where can I get cell-phone service, or internet?’” Thomas said. “That’s going to be history.”

Speaking from the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Whistler, Thomas said the next step in upgrading the village’s telecommunications service is finding ways to affordably connect homes to the islands’ fibre-optic internet line, which runs underground along the Graham Island highway.

Just Posted

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Haida artist Derek Edenshaw helps Rupert spruce up city

A giant kraken, painted by local artists under Edenshaw’s tutelage, is now on display

Haida Gwaii teacher denied paid bereavement travel leave

Arbitrator sides with B.C. Teachers Federation in dispute over funeral trip

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

Rainbow Yarnbombing takes over

Haida Gwaii Knitting Group surprise the islands

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read