GREAT NORTHERN PENINSULA, NL. - Over $5 million in funding has been announced to improve and increase internet accesibility and speeds on the Great Northern Peninsula, per Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Christopher Mitchelmore's Facebook page on Saturday morning.
Mitchelmore, who is also MHA for St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows, stated that communities to benefit in his district are: Conche, Cook's Harbour, Shoal Cove West, Reef's Harbour, New Ferolle, Castor River North and Eddies Cost West.
Rocky Harbour, Portland Creek, Bellburns, and St. Paul's are also included for the investment.
The funding is part of the $40 million investment to improve broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas of the province that are presently underserviced.
The provincial government is partnering with the federal government, who is providing the bulk of the funding through its Connect to Innovate program, as well as with providers such as Bell and EION Inc., to fund these projects and improve internet access in 70 communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Upon completion of these projects, along with others currently being implemented, 99 per cent of the province's population will have access to broadband services.
The announcement for funding on the Great Northern Peninsula comes a couple weeks after $12.5 million was announced for Southern Labrador on Jan 4.
"I want to thank Premier Ball for having the vision of seeing improving Communications access as a priority for his Government," stated Mitchelmore in his Facebook post.
Mitchelmore proceeded to also thank Long Range Mountains MP Gudie Hutchings for her work with federal colleagues to secure funds to make these improvements a reality.
He also thanked local town councils, local service districts and local residents who he says continued to raise the issue and made improving internet speeds a priority..
"Broadband investments mean improved access to a wider range of services, resources, and products. For example, increased support for online business, participation in distance education as well as online job searches," Mitchelmore told the Northern Pen. "Our government’s goal is to ensure that no matter where a business operates in the province – they are right at the centre of their chosen market via modern reliable telecommunications services.
"Advancing telecommunications services and transportation networks is a key priority for me as MHA for St. Barbe-L’anse aux Meadows, I am very pleased to see a multi-million investment in the District to upgrade and improve vital broadband internet service. Investments like these are only possible when Provincial, Federal and corporate partners work together."