PORT HOOD: The Municipality of the County of Inverness has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to address cell phone coverage gaps.

According to a press release sent by the municipality last week, there are numerous communities in Inverness County that have limited or non-existent cell phone coverage.

Karolyn Aucoin, communications and community engagement specialist with the municipality, told The Reporter that some of the places include Pleasant Bay, parts of the Margarees, and the North Mountain area, including Lime Hill and Marble Mountain.

“As such, the chosen consultant will create a comprehensive map of cell phone coverage in the county,” Aucoin explained. “This will give the municipality a clearer picture of who is unserved and underserved.”

According to the municipality, cellular service providers can submit proposals to address gaps and deficiencies in cellular infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities. This includes completing an assessment and map of cellular connectivity, adding communications infrastructure to improve cellular connectivity and helping identify resources to offset the cost of investment.

“Cell phone service is essential for the safety, prosperity and growth of communities,” stated Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie. “The municipality has prioritized improving cell phone service for the residents and businesses of the municipality and the RFP will lead to new municipal investments to ensure the challenges caused by lack of cellular service [are] addressed.”

The RFP closes June 25, with the evaluation of proposals to begin the following week. The RFP is available on the municipality’s Web site, as well as the Province of Nova Scotia’s procurement Web site.