Author: Braeden Jones
Electricity and water aren’t the only critical utilities the city needs to extend to new neighbourhoods–cellular reception is just as important, according to Coun. Matt Allard.
“Wireless phone use is now a ubiquitous part of modern life and arguably an essential service,” he said.
That’s why he introduced a motion at Wednesday’s council meeting that would add consideration of cellphone tower placement to the city’s checklist for all new residential developments.
Allard’s motion notes smartphone use has “exploded in recent years,” and with it, “consumer demand upon wireless infrastructure.”
He points to Sage Creek as a recent example of a newer part of the city hampered by a “lack of cell reception for many years.”
Residents there “have had to wait for complex after-the-fact negotiations to take place to provide cell phone coverage years after residents first moved in,” Allard wrote.
He also lists how more powerful devices continually increase individual customer’s data usage, limiting existing tower range. The motion suggests poor service poses “serious safety issues” if residents aren’t able to call for help.
The idea to have the public service “create a process to consider cell reception as part of planning for new developments,” will be added to the next agenda of the city’s property and development committee.