The telephone era brought about many changes to the prairie lands of
Alberta. Until that time, communication in this large westerly
province was unreliable and often too slow in matters of importance.
Many rural communities lived in near isolation from the rest of the
province. When the first telephone poles were erected and the first
wires strung, the pioneers who made this happen could not have
predicted the effect their experimentation would have. The telephone
network took off, and was soon thriving all over Alberta. People
were suddenly able to hear the voice of loved ones who lived far
away, or instantly call for help in emergencies. All they had to do
was pick up a receiver.
The creation of Alberta Government Telephones in 1907 was instrumental
in connecting urban and rural communities in Alberta by telephone.
There were several advantages to using a public system. Rates were
kept low, and communities that would never have received phone
service with private companies otherwise were connected. Narrator
Cheryl Croucher and Historian Don Wetherell discuss this turning
point in Alberta’s communications history.
Government Telephones (AGT) was made into a Crown Corporation in
order to allow it to service rural communities. Its network expanded
rapidly after 1908 in part to alleviate the fears of isolation
experienced by those Alberta citizens living in farms or small rural
communities with limited services. Host Cheryl Croucher and
Historian Don Wetherell describe the embracing of new telephone
technology in the young Province of Alberta.
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Heritage Community Foundation and
Telephone Historical Centre All Rights Reserved