Telus has cancelled its plans to remove the phone booth in Hayes Creek.
A representative of the company told the Spotlight Monday that after looking into the matter Telus will go into a different direction.
“After careful consideration and receiving feedback from the community of Hayes Creek,” said company representative Lena Chen.
“Telus will not be removing the payphone located at Three Lakes General Store.
“It will remain in service as we continue to explore other options to provide wireless connectivity in the area.”
Residents of the area learned that Telus planned to remove the phone on Dec. 12 when a sign was posted on the phone booth earlier this month.
Cindy Gamache, Hayes Creek fire chief, expressed relief.
“This is great news. I feel this was from our great community emailing Telus, letting them know how important this telephone booth is,” Gamache said.
“Thank you Telus and Hayes Creek community for making a difference.”
The phone booth is a critical means of communication, said Gamache, as there is no cell service for much of the region.
With three campgrounds in the vicinity, visitors can rely on the phone in case of an emergency.
Late last year, when Cranbrook lost its last payphone – leaving the Kootenays with just four remaining in various locations – Black Press was told by a Telus representative that the few remaining pay phones in Western Canada would also be retired.
In 2022, Global reported there were 800 pay phones remaining in B.C.