Feature

Eastlink in Saint John and Fredericton: What you need to know

Eastlink Moncton store
Lee Bragg, CEO Eastlink (right) and Conlan McCormack, Eastlink Moncton Store Manager. Image: Submitted

So, Fredericton and Saint John are getting a new wireless service provider.

Nova Scotia-based Eastlink recently announced that it’s expanding its wireless service offerings to Fredericton and Saint John. The announcement came about a year after the company announced that the opening of its Moncton location.

With bigger, more national, corporations like Rogers, Bell and Telus dominating the wireless market in the province (and arguably everywhere else), we decided to give you a run-down on Eastlink and what you can expect from their debut.

Who they are:

Though they may not be familiar to some people outside Nova Scotia, Eastlink has been around since 1970, but for a while was known as Bragg Communications Inc.

The company was founded by the Bragg family, known for its success in the wild blueberry business, through the amalgamation of five telecommunications companies: Amtelecom, Persona, Bluewater, Delta and Coast Cable.

For the first three decades, the company expanded and grew throughout Nova Scotia and P.E.I. and officially changed its name to Eastlink in the late 1990s. Today the company hires around 1,500 people across Canada and is present in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and now New Brunswick.

What they offer:

Eastlink currently offers television, internet, home security and phone services for both residential and business clients in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland. The company also offers wireless service in Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, and Ontario and only wireless service in New Brunswick.

Expansion into New Brunswick:

In July 2016, Eastlink announced their first wireless store location to the province in the Greater Moncton area. The store opened that month in Moncton’s Champlain Mall.

In July 2017, the company confirmed that it would be opening two more wireless stores, one in Saint John, in the McAllister Place mall and one in Fredericton. The company said it was in the process of hiring local staff and building out the new retail locations. Exact opening dates have not been confirmed, but a representative from Eastlink told Huddle that they plan to launch early in the New Year.

What can you expect?

Upon announcing their expansion to Saint John and Fredericton, Eastlink president Deborah Shaffner said the company would bring some much-needed competition to the market.

“Our goal is to deliver the best possible customer experience. We do that by listening to our customers so we can deliver more of what is important to them including extensive network coverage and quality, low prices and innovations like Worry-Free Data plans and Canada’s first residential contract buyout program,” Shaffner said at the time.

But is Eastlink going to give you a better deal than your current wireless carrier has? That really depends on your current plan and factors such as how much you’re willing to haggle and how good your carrier’s customer retention efforts are. One thing that is certain that more options and competition in the wireless market can only be a positive thing.

Future plans for New Brunswick?

As of right now, Eastlink says there are “no immediate plans” to expand services in New Brunswick after the Saint John and Fredericton location open. However,  the spokesperson said the company does “continuously evaluate opportunities.”