Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
November 14, 2018

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation:

Minister Updates Cell Service Projects across Newfoundland and Labrador

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House to provide an update on the cell service initiatives taking place across our province.

Mr. Speaker, as part of Budget 2018, the Provincial Government announced it would invest $1 million in a new cost-shared cellular service pilot program to address gaps and deficiencies in cellular service infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

This call for proposals outlined the Provincial Government’s commitment to contribute up to a maximum of 25 per cent of project costs towards cellular coverage infrastructure upgrades. The remaining 75 per cent is to be provided by the service provider, municipalities, private ventures and/or regional government partnerships.

As a result of our government’s initiative, Mr. Speaker, residents and travelers in areas of the Great Northern Peninsula and Port au Port Peninsula will enjoy expanded and improved cell service coverage. These first two approved projects include a collective investment of almost two million dollars.

The call for the cellular service pilot program closed on October 1st, and I am pleased to inform this House that in the coming weeks more projects regarding improved and expanded cell service coverage will be announced.

Mr. Speaker, this provincial program builds on a significant broadband investment announced earlier this year in partnership with Connect to Innovate, a federal program that aims to provide internet service to unserved or underserved communities. Many rural and remote communities will be gaining benefits from the joint investment of $40 million in broadband infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, improvements in cellular service infrastructure and internet service can be an enabler for economic development - contributing to economic prosperity, social development and global competitiveness.

Our government continues to strengthen the province’s economic foundation, by delivering on commitments made in The Way Forward to support innovation and technology. Thank you.

2018 11 14                              2:20 p.m.