Cell tower pro­posed for New Har­bour area

Bell Mo­bil­ity an­nounces lo­ca­tion for 80-me­tre guyed tower


Driv­ing along the New Har­bour Bar­rens on your way home from a long day at the of­fice, your cell phone sud­denly rings.

With your Blue­tooth head­set in one ear, you an­swer. “Hello?” It’s an im­por­tant call, so thank­fully you brought your hands-free de­vice with you.

As you reach the in­ter­sec­tion with Route 80, you lose cell phone re­cep­tion.

Dead zones are an is­sue for many peo­ple across New­found­land and Labrador. But in the New Har­bour area, it may soon be a thing of the past.

New tower pro­posed

Bell Mo­bil­ity has pro­posed a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions tower for the area, some­thing many have been want­ing for a long time.

A lo­cal res­i­dent, who re­quested we not use her name, was ex­cited to hear about the pro­posal.

“This day and age, we should have bet­ter cell phone ser­vice than we have in this area,” she said. “There are so many ar­eas here that are dead zones. If an ac­ci­dent were to hap­pen on Ho­peall straight there is no ser­vice to call for an am­bu­lance.”

If ap­proved, the guyed tower will be 80 me­tres high, and lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately one kilo­me­tre north of the Pol­let’s Road and Route 80 in­ter­sec­tion.

Bell spokes­woman Sarah Daw­son told The Com­pass what the new tower would do.

“Bell is in­vest­ing in this cell site to en­hance 4G LTE high-speed wire­less cov­er­age in the New Har­bour area. 4G LTE is the fastest wire­less tech­nol­ogy avail­able any­where and sup­ports many ad­vanced ap­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing mo­bile TV and high-speed In­ter­net,” she ex­plained.

Lack of cell phone cov­er­age

For many years, there have been con­cerns raised in Trin­ity South and the north shore of Con­cep­tion Bay about lack of cell phone cov­er­age in the re­gion.

Some lo­cal res­i­dents con­firmed they heard ru­mours in pre­vi­ous years the tower was in dis­cus­sion.

When asked what area the tower would cover, Aliant could only con­firm north from New Har­bour to White­way, but couldn’t pro­vide con­fir­ma­tion if it would ser­vice area south of New Har­bour.

Steve Crocker, Lib­eral MHA for the neigh­bour­ing dis­trict of Trin­ity-Bay de Verde, hopes more tow­ers are on the way. He has spo­ken with Bell about ar­rang­ing a meet­ing for more cell phone cov­er­age in his dis­trict, which cov­ers Ho­peall to Bay de Verde and down south to Sal­mon Cove.

The new tower will ben­e­fit com­mu­ni­ties from Ho­peall to White­way, which does cover some of Crocker’s dis­trict. There is al­ready a cell phone tower in White­way.

Cov­er­age will only in­clude cell phone ser­vice providers that use Bell tow­ers, in­clud­ing Bell Aliant, Telus and Koodo.

Ac­cord­ing to www.er­tyu.org, there are 10 ac­tive cell phone tow­ers in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion, with nine be­long­ing to Bell. The other tower is a Rogers Com­mu­ni­ca­tions tower lo­cated just past Whit­bourne along the Trans Canada High­way. Another tower is lo­cated along the Heart’s Con­tent Bar­rens, but is not used as a cell phone tower.

Re­quest for feed­back

Since Aliant an­nounced the pro­posal last week, there has been some dis­cus­sion in the area about more cov­er­age, most be­ing pos­i­tive. So far, those that spoke with The Com­pass were in favour of the tower.

Any­one who would like to pro­vide feed­back to Bell can do so un­til Feb. 12, 2015 by con­tact­ing Kirk­land, Balsom and As­so­ciates at 709-738-1000, by fax at 709-738-0152 or by email at mkirk­land@ara.ca.guide

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Bell Mo­bil­ity has nine telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion tow­ers in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion, in­clud­ing this one in Car­bon­ear. The pro­posed tower for New Har­bour will be of sim­i­lar size.

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