Right in the Centre - How bad is it, anyway?


By Ken Waddell

Many Manitobans experience frustration every day with the extremely poor cell service and internet service across rural parts of the province. The rest of Manitoba citizens experience frustration every time they travel through poor cell service areas. It’s tough to travel from any point A to point B without losing cell service.

Cell service is almost non-existent in some smaller towns, on farms and rural acreages and that is not just an inconvenience, it’s a major safety issue. If a person had an emergency in one of the many dips  and hollows, in many “between tower” areas, it would be impossible to call for help or assistance. It is not unusual at all to lose cell service between Neepawa and Gladstone or between Neepawa and Kelwood for example. There are spots along Hwy. 10 where cell service just dies and west of Rivers is another cold spot on the road.

Internet service, which is the lifeline for businesses and families nowadays is spotty at best. There are people who have good service, some have a choice of hard-wired fibre optic services but I am told many get their internet off towers. Internet service in rural and farm areas is notoriously slow. In some cases it’s non-existent. In some cases internet service used to be OK but due to changes in company ownership, or possibly, the removal of a tower or two, it’s no longer there.

In addition, cell service and internet service in Canada is very high compared to other countries.

Many people cannot conduct their day-to-day business from their homes due to bad cell service or poor and sometimes non existent internet service. There have been many time when emergencies or tornados have been spotted and the warning doesn’t come through on the cell phone.

The level of internet and cell service in Manitoba is unacceptably low its dangerous and a major hindrance to safety and conducting  business. If a doctor, nurse, police officer or any other emergency personnel lives in a poor service area, it’s a danger to them and to us all.

Please let me know in a brief email with your experience. How have service providers treated you? What is your internet service like. Just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We would like to hear about your experience. We can almost guarantee that many people aren’t getting adequate cell service or internet service and are paying though the nose for crappy service.

If we get enough response, perhaps we can get some action towards improvement. I get the impression that providers don’t seem to care and if that is the case, it needs to change.

•Speaking of change, a big one came down on Tuesday as Premier Brian Pallister announced that he wouldn’t be running in the next election. Pallister took a somewhat disorganized PC party of Manitoba and did a pretty good job of making it into a government. It was, as Pallister said, a good time to announce his intentions. What many people don’t understand is that he didn’t resign. He just announced that he won’t run again. He plans to stay on as leader and premier until a new leader is elected. He may even stay on as an MLA until the next election. If the newly elected leader is not a sitting MLA, there will be an acting premier named until the new leader wins a seat in the legislature. It will be an interesting season as we will likely have a federal election and then soon after, a PC leadership race.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.