HAWKE’S BAY, N.L. - A business leader in Hawke’s Bay is raising concerns around the quality of Internet and cost of television service in his community.
Tom Maynard is the owner of Torrent River Inn in Hawke’s Bay. He is upset by Eastlink’s decision to discontinue analog TV service in Hawke’s Bay at the end of the month.
Eastlink has confirmed this decision to The Northern Pen. It is moving its analog TV service out of Anchor Point, Conche, Jackson’s Arm, Raleigh and Hawke’s Bay.
“Unfortunately, Eastlink is no longer able to provide service at a reasonable cost to a few communities on the Northern Peninsula that currently receive analog TV service only,” a company statement read. “These communities have been advised. There are other provider options available to these communities.”
Maynard is concerned this will hurt his business.
He says television is now going to cost him at least four times more having to go through Bell than it did with Eastlink.
Furthermore, he’s worried he’ll lose customers to hotels in other communities that are getting Internet upgrades.
Maynard says he’s heard Eastlink is upgrading to include Internet in Port Saunders and Port au Choix, two nearby communities.
Eastlink was not able to confirm this information for The Northern Pen prior to the Aug. 10 deadline.
But Maynard believes the same equipment could be used to feed Hawke’s Bay as well.
“It makes no sense because they’re the only ones that can supply TV and internet here in Hawke’s Bay with very little upgrade of equipment,” he said. “And they’re just going to pull out of here.”
He says the town’s Internet, through Bell Aliant, is too slow.
Maynard is concerned he’s going to lose business to these other communities once they receive the upgrade in speeds and he doesn’t.
“My customers are going to be able to drive for another hour, land in Plum Point, get all high-speed Internet, go to Port au Choix get all high-speed Internet and TV,” he said. “And they (the other hotels) are paying a quarter of what I’m going to be paying (for me) to get a lower quality product.”
Mayor Garcien Plowman says he’s spoken with several residents and it’s a concern that they will have to go to other providers for television.
He says he’s raised the issue with Eastlink through its website: eastlink.ca.