Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George will soon have cellular coverage along the entire route, fulfilling a critical recommendation to make the highway safer, province says.
As part of this project, Rogers plans to install 12 cellular towers along the highway. This will provide 252 kilometres of new highway cellular coverage, closing several gaps along this corridor.
The federal and the provincial government will also provide Rogers $4.5 million towards installing cellular infrastructure for better coverage in the remaining areas of weak signal strength between Prince Rupert and Smithers.
Solving the problem of cellular gaps between communities along Highway 16 was among the Highway of Tears Symposium Report’s 33 recommendations aimed at enhancing safety for Indigenous women and girls.
This recommendation from the symposium was echoed in the report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“This investment is key to ensure women, especially Indigenous women, who are not safe can call for help and receive the services they need to ensure their safety and security,” BC said.
“This project means there will be cellular coverage along the entire length of Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert, giving people peace of mind knowing they can reach out for help if they need it. It is a critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies along this route, bringing comfort to people who use the highway and are now safter because of this connectivity,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s Minister of Citizens’ Services.
“This project will provide continuous cellular coverage along the whole of the highway corridor, which will improve overall safety for this area,” said Murray Rankin, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
“It honours the memory of both survivors and the friends and family members of the Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have gone missing, been murdered or experienced other forms of violence along Highway 16.”