My House is Long Distance from my Driveway

The introduction of widespread Cellular networks in the late 1980s made it mandatory to have a mobile phone if you wanted to stay in business. Having a live Answering Service and Pager was no longer enough: cellphones, as they were then known, could cut the delay in callbacks when I was not in the office, and my customers clearly wanted that.

Nearly $500 later, about as Mobile as I could get was a Car Phone. Service was still spotty in those days and you could not even keep a connection between Edmonton and Sherwood Park.  You were not just disconnected as you lost contact with Edmonton Telephones and came into range of Alberta Government Telephones’ (AGT) network.  There was actually a mile or two on the main roads where no reliable service was available.

At the time, I was living on my wife’s parents’ farm just two miles West of Elk Island Park. Cellular telephone reception was excellent there, but it always locked into the AGT cellular tower in Lamont. Which meant that it was a Long Distance call from my driveway into the house.

AGT once explained to me that my home telephone service came from a local Fort Saskatchewan exchange that was actually located in Josephburg. My mail was delivered by the Ardrossan Post Office and now my cellular service was coming from Lamont. Thankfully, AGT considered that an error and, in about six months, did their technical magic and suddenly my cellular service at home was from Ardrossan.