Through a cost-shared agreement with the Town of King’s Point and Bell Canada, the provincial government is contributing over $55,000 to provide cellular service in King’s Point, which currently does not have access to cellular coverage.
This non-repayable contribution represents 25 per cent of total funding for the project, estimated to cost over $221,000. Bell will contribute $133,000, with the town funding the remaining portion.
“Through The Way Forward, we have taken another step to deliver a higher standard of living for residents as today’s announcement to expand cell service in the King’s Point area will play a key role in sustaining and strengthening the growth of this region,” said Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Christopher Mitchelmore. “I commend the Town of King’s Point for its commitment to build strategies to diversify its economy, and encourage tourism growth. Congratulations to the residents, businesses and the local service area as the town enhances its ability to attract visitors to Green Bay.”
Mayor Perry Gillingham said the town pleased is to partner with Bell and the provincial government in the installation of cell coverage for the community.
“This will be vital technology and a much needed asset to our town,” Gillingham said. “This will provide cell service for our town residents and businesses along with our growing tourism industry. This will also benefit the King’s Point Fire Department with emergency communication. This service will bring economic development to our community as well.”
The mayor extended thanks to Baie Verte - Green Bay MHA Brian Warr for working with King’s Point town council in bringing the pilot project to fruition.
This funding enables the deployment of Bell’s LTE (Long Term Evolution) broadband wireless technology throughout the community.
“Bell is pleased to partner with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Town of King’s Point to expand wireless broadband communications services to the community,” said Bell Canada vice-chair Atlantic Glen LeBlanc. “Providing residents and visitors with access to Canada’s best national mobile network will support education and health care as well as enable new opportunities for economic development in the Green Bay area.”
According to a provincial government media release, King’s Point is a small town in Green Bay with a rich history in the forest industry. In recent years, the community has benefitted from the growth of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, becoming a significant stop for bus tour operators. Growing tourism and other potential industry in the King's Point area will not only help the community economically, it will be a boost to the entire region, and play a role in provincial tourism growth strategies.
“I am thrilled to see the expansion of cellular service in King’s Point; welcomed news for a previous unserved community,” said Warr. “ King’s Point will now be provided a far greater reach which is significant for its strong and growing tourism industry, an industry that’s a driver of economic activity in the area. I look forward to seeing continued growth for King’s Point and the vital role cellular service will have on the region.”
On April 30, as part of Budget 2018 and through the Regional Development Fund, the provincial government issued a call for proposals that would invest $1 million in a new cost-shared cellular service pilot program, contributing up to a maximum of 25 per cent of project costs towards cellular coverage infrastructure upgrades. The remaining 75 per cent will be provided by the service provider, municipalities, private ventures, co-operatives, social enterprises and/or regional government partnerships. The final submission date for proposals was Oct. 1, 2018.
It was noted in the release, “support for innovation and technology delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.”