City of Campbell River employees will all be receiving new devices after the city chooses Rogers Communications as its mobile provider for the next four years. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

City of Campbell River leaves Bell in favour of Rogers

New contract will include ‘a suite of new devices’ for staff and council to choose from

After being with Bell Mobility for the past seven years, the City of Campbell River has decided to switch mobile providers.

For the next four years, at least, the city will be going with Rogers.

At its most recent meeting, council decided to accept staff’s recommendation to go with Rogers Communications, whose bid came in at $230,376 – just $5,000 or so below Telus’ proposed cost of $235,200 and $12,000 below Bell’s bid.

Coun. Larry Samson questioned whether a relatively small difference between bids would make up for the fact that everyone on staff would now need to learn how to use a new device.

“Does this switchover include multiple electronic devices?” Samson asked. “Is that part of this quote?”

When informed by deputy city manager Ron Neufeld that yes, new devices are included in the price, Samson expressed his concern that training time on new devices could cost more than the savings the city would be seeing from taking the lowest bid.

Neufeld said he is “not anticipating that there will be any additional training or orientation required,” adding there are other, “additional values being brought to the city through an entirely new stock of devices,” and these were all taken into account when staff went through the various bids during the Request For Proposals (RFP) process.

One of those “additional values,” according to IT manager Warren Kalyn, was that all the city’s hardware will be replaced every two years. As well, the city will be able to access local support through Rogers’ local retailer, Kinetic. When combined with the bid being the lowest of the three, Rogers’ proposal earned the highest score in the bidding process.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield wanted to ensure that staff and members of council would still have access to devices they were already accustomed to – Apple or Android-based devices, for example – in order to ensure the transition is smooth, to which Neufeld responded there will be “a suite of selections provided to both staff and council,” so everyone will have options to choose from and will be able to select devices that work for them.

Cornfield also wondered about the level of service itself, saying, “I believe they (Rogers) only have one tower off McGimpsey Road. Do they have access to the other towers around town?”

Neufeld says while he didn’t have details on hand about the company’s access to towers, he reiterated that the level of service that would be provided was part of the staff review of the proposal, and he assured council they would be well covered “throughout the municpal boundaries.”

“Hopefully we won’t have dead spots,” Cornfield said.

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