Most of the province’s farmers say their service is poor and is getting worse; increased safety risks have been identified. | Getty image

Cellphone outrage grows in Manitoba

Most of the province’s farmers say their service is poor and is getting worse; increased safety risks have been identified

The death of a man in the Rural Municipality of Alonsa, Man., in an Aug. 3 tornado has highlighted simmering anger among farmers and rural people over what they believe is worsening cellphone service in many areas. Jack Furrie, 77, died when the EF-4 tornado hit his rural home. Since “upgrades” to local cell towers […] Read more

When Jeff Penner travelled to Liberia last year, he had excellent cellphone service everywhere, from down in the deepest darkest jungle swamp up to the highest remote mountain peaks. 
| Photo via Flickr/rnw.org

Seamless cell service … in African wilderness

When Jeff Penner travelled to Liberia last year, he had excellent cellphone service everywhere, from down in the deepest darkest jungle swamp up to the highest remote mountain peaks. “Last June, I spent 10 days around Greenville, Liberia, in the heart of the African jungle, where Ebola started,” says Penner. “I had four bars on […] Read more

Cell service: a basic utility

Cellular signals have become an anchor for many of the precision agriculture tools that have been or are being developed for the industry. Trouble is, farming is small when it comes to telecommunications. Farming is relatively small for IT in general. Everything for ag costs more because developers and suppliers have to earn enough to […] Read more


Rural cell service: where it’s at — or isn’t

The coloured maps depicting cellular service across the Prairies don’t paint an accurate picture. The dead spots are conspicuous by their absence. Even the Trans-Canada Highway is pocked with no signal pits. Many developing nations have better cell coverage at a lower cost, according to Manitoba farmer and entrepreneur Jeff Penner, who spent time in […] Read more

Cellular connection

Cellular tools on the farm are growing faster than the networks that support them. In the vast, 150 million acres that are farmed and ranched in Western Canada cellular service is often defined by the population and potential data charges it creates. Farmers are becoming fewer and further between, while the technology that supports them […] Read more


Those attending St. Jean Farm Days in St. Jean Baptiste, Man., in January no longer have to stand outside in the cold looking for cellphone coverage, thanks to a recently added booster.  |  Ed White photo

Manitoba farm show joins 21st century

ST. JEAN BAPTISTE, Man. — A tradition going all the way back to the birth of the cellphone age has died here, but few are crying about its loss. Instead of finding a gaggle of farmers, businesspeople and reporters shivering in the frigid early January weather on the steps outside the Knights of Columbus hall, holding […] Read more