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Phone booths in cellular ‘dead’ zone north of Campbell River will be removed

Two iconic pay phones between Campbell River and Sayward are being removed, but Telus says they will be replaced with something better.

With cellular coverage notoriously spotty in the region, the phone booths at Roberts Lake and Sayward Valley Resorts have served drivers in distress for decades. But their time is up, and Telus says they will be replaced with community phones.

Telus says community phones will ensure reliable and free access to emergency services until wireless services in the area are upgraded. They will also offer free calling anywhere in BC. The community phones will remain in place until wireless coverage is improved.

Telus and the contractor responsible for maintaining the pay phones have received many comments and concerns about the pending removals.

“In recognition of the nostalgia associated with payphones, we’re working with the community and local organizations to decommission the payphones for display purposes to ensure they can stay within the community as an acknowledgement of a shared piece of technology history,” Telus said in an emailed statement. “Any residents who are interested in seeing these payphones showcased as a piece of history in a local museum or community centre can email us at [email protected] to learn more.”

Telus says more than 99% of the provincial population is covered by its wireless network, and the company is committed to making sure highway corridors have reliable phone access to emergency services.

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