Facts about towers - For municipalities
Facts about towers
Improvements to Industry Canada's Antenna Tower
Demand for wireless services is growing, and is expected to continue as more and more Canadians use smartphones and other mobile devices. To accommodate this demand, more towers will be needed.
Wireless companies have always been required to work with communities when they want to build a new tower, but changes to Industry Canada’s Antenna Tower Siting procedures will now require companies to work even closer with local communities.
The rules are designed to make sure companies are looking at ways to reduce the number of new towers they are building, while also ensuring that, if a new tower is needed, local citizens are involved throughout the process.
In brief, when considering new towers, a company must:
- Investigate sharing or using existing infrastructure before proposing new antenna-supporting structures;
- Contact the land-use authority to determine local requirements for antenna systems;
- Clearly notify and consult with the public and address relevant concerns, whether by following local land-use requirements or Industry Canada's default process on tower siting;
- Build any tower within three years of consulting with residents; and
- Satisfy Industry Canada's general and technical requirements, and comply with Health Canada's Safety Code 6 to ensure the safety of Canadians.
The rules are also clear that Industry Canada officials will only normally become involved if there is an impasse at the local level. Communities are the ones directly affected by tower locations. They are best positioned to work with wireless providers to ensure effective delivery of services, while also ensuring respect for local land-use considerations. Industry Canada staff are available to assist municipalities in understanding their role and to provide advice.
Developing your own tower siting protocol
In February 2013, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities launched a joint Antenna System Siting Protocol Template, which provides a ready-made tool that municipalities can use to develop their own customized protocols or improve existing ones.
Industry Canada also offers advice in creating your own process in our Guide to Assist Land-use Authorities in Developing Antenna Siting Protocols.
If you need help, contact us.
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