Cellular Coverage For Rural Communities

Transportation and Communication


WHEREAS there was a resolution passed at UBCM in 2004 to cover the Highway 16 corridor with cell phone service, when 59% of Canadians had cell phones;

AND WHEREAS 14 years later, while 86% of Canadians have cell phones, Port Clements and other rural areas along Highway 16 still suffer from the impacts of having no cell phone service, emphasized for Port Clements residents by the stress and demands of the January 2018 earthquake and subsequent tsunami evacuation:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Municipalities lobby the provincial government to ensure that the increasingly essential infrastructure of cell phone coverage is made available to Port Clements and other rural areas of Highway 16 as soon as possible and without any further delay.


UBCM Comments: UBCM notes that resolution 2004-B9 was amended to remove the specific reference to highway 16 recognizing there are other areas of the province that lack cell service. The final wording of 2004-B9 was that “UBCM lobby the Province to ensure that cell phone coverage is available to the travelling public along the entire BC highway system.”

In its response 2004-B9 the Province “agreed that the provision of cellular telephone service is an increasingly important service that effects economic development, tourism and safety. This issue is complicated by the fact that there are a number of suppliers of cellular service in British Columbia as telecommunications in Canada is a federal government responsibility and there are no regulations requiring cellular service in any region of the country. The provincial government will continue to urge telecommunications vendors to expand their services, particularly in remote regions of the province.”

Prior to the 2004 resolution the membership endorsed resolution 2003-B35, which called upon the UBCM “to lobby and work to ensure that every community in northern BC has access to the latest telecommunication technology such as broadband and cellular phone service, in order to develop economic growth opportunities.”

Members have consistently endorsed other resolutions seeking both cellular service and internet connectivity for rural and remote areas of the province (2012-B45, 2011-B72, 2010-B50, 2009-B57, 2008-B54, 2007-B57, 2006-B54, 2005-B5).




North Central Local Government Association