Hello…Hello?? Reader frustrated with lack of cell service in the Valley

We should be insulted by the poor product we receive from the less than adequate Telus equipment installed here.

Dear Editor,

I believe it’s time that the rate-paying citizens of the Bella Coola Valley openly express their frustration with the lack of robust cellular service in our region. We should be insulted by the poor product we receive from the less than adequate Telus equipment installed here.

The Hagensborg Cellular tower is within two kilometers, in a straight and unobstructed line, from the Bella Coola Airport, and yet the signal is so poor at that location that Bella Coola Vehicle Rentals needed to install a $600 cell booster apparatus to operate an office in that location. It’s a little-known fact that all airport users benefit from this equipment, especially when sitting at the Little Nook Café end of the terminal, where the vehicle rental office is located. Try making a call from the Pacific Coastal ticket counter as a comparison.

Economic Development is mandated service of the Central Coast Regional District and we pay for this service through our property taxes. Perhaps our local government representatives should give more attention to the communication needs of the local business community.

For many years now, cellular communications have become an established necessity for businesses all over the world to operate successfully. Many developing counties have completely skipped over landline communications and gone directly to robust cellular communications systems. I’d go as far as to suggest that most miniscule villages in the middle of the Congo likely have far better cellular service than we have in this valley community.

The lack of suitable communications in this region seriously impacts our ability to develop and operate viable businesses. It also has negative impacts on our personal safety and our methods used to manage emergencies, not to mention our social efficiency, related to everyday activities.

Of course, we managed all right without this service “in the old days” and I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to be on the phone all the time. However, in today’s weak economy, a missed call can mean a missed contract and no business would claim that missing calls from clients is acceptable. Currently, there are only a few places in the valley that I even attempt to answer my cell phone. Better to let the call go to voicemail than to lose it by trying to speak, and having it dropped.

Any ideas as to how to promote this need to the appropriate authorities would be welcomed.

Respectfully,Stephen WaughHagensborg, BC