An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE AMOUNT WE PAY for the privilege of yakking and texting on our cellphones is downright uncivilized compared to people in other places.
Premier John Horgan wants to make cell service cheaper and contracts easier to understand because cellphones are essential.
This cellphone user isn’t about to disagree with that assessment. Though there’s still an occasional sighting of a flip phone, they’re as rare as a two-dollar bill — we now use our high-tech cellphones like computers for just about everything but making dinner, and that’s probably on the way.
An argument can be made that life would be better if we all took those pocket-sized devices and tossed them into a shredder.
Life was more serene when there was a phone booth on every street corner. We used to talk to each other in the elevator and read magazines — yes, magazines — in the dentist’s office.
But, businesses were less efficient, our spouse couldn’t remind us to stop for a quart of milk on the way home, and more people died on highways waiting for medical assistance.
So, like it or not, yes, the cellphone has become a necessity as well as an entertainment tool. But while we’re complaining about the high cost of cellphone service, let’s talk about the availability of cell service at all.
While those in urban centres and along major population corridors take cell service for granted, there are vast areas of the province with no cell signals.
Access to high-speed internet is the focus of many government funding programs but much less is heard about the complete lack of access to mobile phone service in many areas.
So if cell service is so essential, it’s time something serious was done about providing access to all, whatever the price.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.