Area C director demands better cell service

Web Lead

  • Wed Sep 14th, 2016 8:00pm
  • News

Larry Binks says he is mad as hell and not going to take it any more.

The RDCK Area C director travels Highway 3 over Kootenay Pass dozens of times a year and he’s tired of hearing excuses about why there is no cell phone coverage on much of the route.

Binks made provincial news last week with his rant.

“This issue has been on my radar for eight years,” he said last Thursday. “Telus always likes to tell us when they add cell service. I have challenged them to tell us why it has not been extended to the Summit.

“We always hear that it doesn’t add revenue, and that no solar or battery system is available to power relay towers, but communications systems (for dedicated services) work just fine at the top of the Summit (Kootenay Pass) and everywhere else, like Thompson Mountain.

“Why, I asked them? They weren’t interested at all. To me, it’s about money, but they (Telus) made $2 billion last year.”

Binks said that after getting nowhere with Telus about his concerns he was going to meet with the appropriate cabinet minister at the upcoming Union of BC Municipalities conference in Victoria.

“I am not taking a group with me into that meeting so I will have his undivided attention when I ask for government intervention.”

It is a matter of public safety, he said.

“I can’t tell you how many times over that Summit in the last eight years that I have driven and seen accidents—there is too much reliance on Good Samaritans and not enough on the technology that should be available on the highest year-round highway pass on the continent,” he said. “I am not willing to let this go until there is a fix for this problem.”