HWY 95 south of Golden will be getting improved cell service. (File photo)

HWY 95 south of Golden will be getting improved cell service. (File photo)

Better cell service coming to Highway 95

Improved connectivity just south of town is expected with new funding

Improved cell service is coming to Highway 95, through a record investment from the Connecting British Columbia program, which continues to improve connectivity throughout the province.

Rogers will receive $774,000 from the Connecting British Columbia program to upgrade cellular service along Highway 95 between Golden and Spillimacheen. This work will include improved coverage at the Braisher Creek rest area and in the communities of Nicholson, Parson and Harrogate.

Highway 97 will also receive up to $5.46 million to put towards the $6.4 million cost of filling in cellular gaps along Highway 97.

“Rogers is proud to continue investing in British Columbia on these highway connectivity projects to build critically needed 5G networks to bridge the digital divide in partnership with the B.C. government,” said Dean Prevost, president, Connected Home and Rogers for Business.

“Connecting Canadians, including rural, remote and Indigenous communities, is a top priority for Rogers. Through this partnership, we are providing improved safety and reliable connectivity for those who depend on highways 95 and 97, while creating new jobs and supporting B.C.’s economy.”

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The Connecting British Columbia program helps fund infrastructure required to deliver high-speed internet connectivity to rural and remote areas of the province. The program is funded by the Province of British Columbia and is administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT).

NDIT was established through provincial legislation in the early 2000s and operates independently from the government to provide funding and pursue opportunities for stimulating economic growth and job creation in rural B.C.

“Our world is becoming more and more connected, and we want to be sure that people using our rural transportation networks can fully capitalize on that connectivity. Investments like these, combined with the improved safety and access to services that cellular and Wi-Fi provides, will help our regional economies recover and thrive in the post-pandemic world,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development.

“Working together, we can ensure the incredible benefits of technology can be enjoyed by everyone in B.C.”

The Connecting British Columbia program was expanded in September 2020 as part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. For the first time in the program’s history, a mandate was included to improve access to cellular for people in rural and Indigenous communities.

The program has already overseen the expansion of cellular service along 429 kilometres of highway throughout the province.