ST. JOHN'S, N.L. (CP) - Newfoundland is considering the construction of a second fibre-optic link to Nova Scotia that would prevent 911 services from shutting down as they did last week, Premier Danny Williams said Thursday.
The provincial government has been scrutinizing the $82-million proposal by Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI - news), MTS Allstream Inc. (TSX:MBT - news) and Persona Communications Inc. for at least several months. If approved, the project would provide a much-needed alternate connection for the only province in Canada that currently depends on a single carrier, Williams said.
A minor fire at a Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) switching station that eliminated residential and mobile phone service throughout the provincial capital last Friday underscores the need for another link, Williams said.
A few obvious questions here: Did the goverment give Bell Aliant ao opportunity to provide their own redundancy and diversity plan? You would think that it would be easier to redesign and augment the network, rather than create a whole new duplicate one, especially for a province where burying fibre must be a considerable expense. That being said, with Rogers and Allstream, they've likely still got "decommissioned but not disassembled" radio towers floating all over the Rock.
Second Question: This isn't the first time that Rogers and Allstream have entertained a wild idea - [remember innikshuk?], will the incusion of Persona add sticking power to the relationship?