RALEIGH/ST. LUNAIRE-GRIQUET & AREA, N.L. – Greater cellular coverage is coming soon to the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.
Nearly $1.5 million in funding has been announced to construct two towers in Raleigh and St. Lunaire-Griquet that will improve and expand cellular coverage throughout the region.
The project will be cost-shared between St. Anthony Basin Resources Incorporated Inc. (SABRI), Bell Canada and the provincial government.
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII) Minister Christopher Mitchelmore, as well as SABRI executive director Sam Elliott and Bell Wireless Special Projects manager Andy Morrison made the announcement at the Raleigh town hall on Tuesday, July 31.
Raleigh Mayor Cyril Taylor and former Raleigh mayor Millicent Taylor, advocates for the cell towers, also spoke at the event.
Mitchelmore, who is also the MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows, called it one of the most satisfying days in his seven years serving the district.
The project will see the construction of an 80-metre Long-Term Evolution (LTE) tower in Raleigh at Ha Ha Mountain and a SimpleCell pole in St. Lunaire-Griquet at the top of St. Brendan’s Trail.
Per a TCII press release, the installation will improve and expand the mobile network coverage and bring High Speed Packet Access and LTE mobile technologies to approximately 4,000 residents from St. Anthony Airport to Goose Cove East.
St. Lunaire-Griquet, L’Anse aux Meadows, Raleigh, Ship Cove, Cook’s Harbour and many other communities will now be serviced.
This is the provincial government’s first project to address gaps and deficiencies in cellular service infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
The province is contributing $361,914 of the total estimated cost of $1,447,655.
SABRI, a social enterprise which has suffered significant losses in revenue in recent years due to a cut in its shrimp allocation, is hoping for more pledges from locals to support the project now that they know it’s going ahead.
Thus far, it has received $67,000 – including a $25,000 contribution from Clearwater Seafoods, $20,000 from the International Grenfell Association and $22,000 from local businesses and residents.
More pledges can be paid at the town halls of St. Lunaire-Griquet, Raleigh and St. Anthony as well as the SABRI office in St. Anthony.
The target date for the cell towers to be fully operational is December of 2019.