Letter: Telus tower delays affect other cell users

Dear Editor,

Nearly three years after Telus obtained Township council approval for a multi-user wireless communications tower at Crush Crescent and Glover Road in Milner, Telus has yet to construct the tower.

Telus’s inactivity has apparently prevented Rogers, Wind, and Mobilicity, the companies that supported the Telus proposal, the ability to improve their wireless services in this area of Langley.

In 2008 Telus applied to the municipality for a tower on the Southern Rail/Co-op yard. Over two years later, Telus had done nothing to advance their proposal, until mid-2010 when a third-party tower operator, Cascadia Tower, proposed a wireless tower on the adjacent property.

Telus told the Township mayor and council at the 2011 hearing for their proposed Milner tower that delays were behind them, and this tower was a priority to construct and become operational.

The Milner tower appears to be not an isolated incident. In 2011, Telus, with the support of Wind Mobile, applied for a new tower in the Abbotsford Auto Mall. Abbotsford council approved the proposed tower in 2012. As of this writing, no tower has been built.

A recent study of towers in Metro Vancouver reveal that, of the 180 towers owned by Telus, Rogers, and Bell, more than 70 per cent are single-occupant towers,  48 towers have one other occupant, and nine have two or more tenants.

It appears that Telus is not in the tower-development or tower-sharing business.

Municipalities and the public should be carefully considering who they entrust with their support for the wireless infrastructure that is for the benefit of the community, and not place it in the hands of a company with a track record of obstructing competitors and resulting in diminishment of wireless coverage to the general public.

Max Smith, via email

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