Sudbury·Audio

Sudbury residents' concerns mount as wireless towers multiply

The number of cell phone tower applications is increasing in Sudbury as more residents go wireless. While that may be good news for wireless customers, some Sudbury residents are concerned with the placement of the enormous antennae.

When a cell phone tower more than 15 metres is built, companies must hold a public hearing

With the increase in wireless service subscribers, Sudbury, Ont. residents will be noticing new antennae going up across the city. (Shutterstock)
There's big demand to install more cell towers. But before any can go up, companies have to consider public consultation. We got an update on how that's going in Greater Sudbury from city councillor Deb McIntosh.
The number of cell phone tower applications is increasing in Sudbury as more residents go wireless.

While that may be good news for wireless customers, some Sudbury residents are concerned with the placement of the enormous antennae.

City councillor Deb McIntosh said she's received four requests over the past 18 months to build new antennas in her ward.

The benefits of having more consistent wireless service may outweigh the tower's aesthetic drawbacks.

"[Not too long ago] I had to stand upstairs in the bedroom by a window to be able to answer the cell phone," McIntosh said. "Now I can answer my cell phone anywhere in the house."

McIntosh also said the technology is helping people in rural areas work and go to school online.

She says that companies do not randomly place wireless towers in the community. They have to engage in public consultation with nearby residents if they want to install towers taller than 15 metres. 

McIntosh said in her experience, most of the concerns about wireless towers come from residents in rural areas.

"When you're in the city there's the light of the city...whereas when you live in a rural area, it's dark." said McIntosh. Adding that when there are changes for people, that is when they become concerned.

McIntosh expects to see more applications for cell phone towers as the numbers of wireless users increase.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunication Association reports there are more than 29 million wireless subscribers across the country.

With files from Olivia Stefanovich. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges

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