Friday 7th, 2018 ~ In this modern age, a lack of cell coverage is a frustration to many residents in, and visitors to, rural NL.
For King’s Point, cell service disappears just after drivers turn onto King’s Point road (Route 391) and there is no cell coverage in the community at all. It is common to see cars parked at the junction, making a last call.
King’s Point is ‘coming up’ as a tourist destination and this fall the Town Council made a funding application to improve the cell coverage situation for residents, visitors and businesses.
The funding application was successful and this morning, Baie Verte-Green Bay MHA Brian Warr and Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, made the announcement in a packed By the Sea Cafe in King’s Point. Residents old and young, town councilors, representatives of the volunteer fire department and a number of students and teachers from Valmont Academy all turned out to hear the announcement.
The total costs for the cost-shared cellular service project are just over $221,000. Of that, the Provincial Government will provide about $55,000. The Town of King’s Point will put in about $33,000 and Bell Mobility will contribute the rest of the costs at $133,000.
The work to bring Bell’s LTE service to the community is expected to be done in 2019 and 2020.
The cellular service is expected to be provided by small cell technology and once the project is completed, it is expected cover the core of the community and not the road to King’s Point. Service is expected to also reach across the bay to cover part of King’s Point south.
On April 30, 2018, the Government issued a call for proposals for cell service projects. The Government earmarked $1 million for the program. The last date for submissions was September 30th.