Cellular service is spotty along Highway 14 from Sooke to Port Renfrew. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

Cellular service is spotty along Highway 14 from Sooke to Port Renfrew. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

Vancouver Island south coast cell phone fix pushed back to 2022

Equipment and steel shortages, permits and challenging terrain has delayed Highway 14 project

Spotty cell service along Vancouver Island’s southwest coast won’t be improving as early as planned.

The construction of seven towers to expand cellular service on a 70-kilometre stretch of Highway 14 from Sooke to Port Renfrew has been pushed back to 2022.

A spokesperson for Rogers Communications, the project’s contractor, said crews are still building the towers.

“We remain dedicated to the completion of this important project as we address the global equipment and steel shortage, complexities of obtaining building permits as well as the challenging terrain in the area, and are on track to have coverage in service in 2022,” he said in an email to Black Press Media.

There was no timeline for when work would be completed.

READ MORE: Cellular reception extending along Vancouver Island’s south coast

When the program was announced in April, construction was scheduled to be completed by the end of October. Funding for the project came from Connecting British Columbia grant program. Rogers was given $4.9 million towards infrastructure costs.

More than 1,200 homes in the region are set to be connected to cellular service in Port Renfrew, Shirley, Otter Point, Jordan River and some Pacheedaht First Nation communities.

“I have property in Jordan River that I’m currently building a house on,” Mike Morrison said in an email.

“I was hoping the cell service would be available by now so it would be easier to communicate and do research for the build while I’m out there. There are a lot of things to organize and deal with when building a house.”


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