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Losing patience with lack of cell service

We have no cell service in most areas of Trinity South and I know it’s sporadic in many other areas of the Baccalieu trail, no doubt it’s also the same in many rural areas of the province.

In this day of technological advancements, one would think that our province would have cell phone coverage everywhere! It could be a matter of life and death!  

We pay for cell service in New Perlican but cannot use it until we arrive in the Victoria /Carbonear area. We need service in rural Newfoundland and Labrador and indeed all across Canada in rural areas. If rebates have to be given to the cell phone companies to provide this service, then I believe it is time for some of our tax dollars to be used for something that would benefit so many people.

My family was touched recently by an accident and lack of cell phone service in the area certainly caused some grief. I know there are many families with similar stories. We have some treacherous roadways in winter that need cell service.

I understand that all town councils in this province have been asked to develop Emergency measures plans; how can they do that in areas where there is no back up phone service?

The government has been involved in getting internet service for rural areas of Canada; why not do likewise with cell phone service?  Here’s the reference information from the Government of Canada website on “Connecting Canadians”: - Connecting Canadians which is the Government of Canada's program to provide 280,000 Canadians in rural and remote regions of the country with high-speed, broadband Internet access.

By 2017, the Government will invest up to $305 million to address gaps in the delivery of high-speed Internet at speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) in rural and remote communities across the country. The program also has a dedicated $50 million northern component targeting remote, satellite-dependent communities in Nunavut and the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, which was announced by Prime Minister Harper on August 25, 2014.

Let’s make lack of cell phone coverage a major issue in this election. When someone knocks on your door, ask them if they have cell phone service on your doorstep? If not, complain. That might make them realize how serious we are about this problem. We all know that many promises are made during elections, so let’s get some promises on providing good cell phone coverage in rural areas.

Eileen Matthews

New Perlican

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