Municipalities and Wireless Industry Announce Joint Protocol on Antenna Siting

OTTAWA February 28, 2013Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) President Karen Leibovici and Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) President Bernard Lord announced today at a news conference in Ottawa, a joint protocol on the siting process of wireless antenna systems.

“The purpose of the protocol is to ensure there is notification and meaningful local consultation on the location and visual aesthetics of antenna systems before they are installed, and that Canadians continue to have access to the wireless services they need to support their businesses and stay connected with their families,” said FCM president Karen Leibovici.

The Joint Antenna System Siting Protocol is the result of a partnership between municipalities and the wireless industry, through FCM and CWTA, to find common sense solutions to the challenge of building Canada’s digital infrastructure while respecting local land use preferences and community concerns

The protocol establishes a more comprehensive notification and consultation process than current regulations, and emphasizes the need for meaningful pre-consultation to ensure local land use priorities and sensitivities are fully reflected in the location and design of new antenna systems. Telecommunications carriers have agreed for the first time to notify municipalities of all antennas being installed before their construction, regardless of height, and to undertake full public consultation for towers under 15 meters – whenever deemed necessary by the municipality.

“Canadians expect reliable, high quality wireless service wherever they are. By working together, communities and the industry can guarantee there is enough critical infrastructure in place to keep Canadians connected to the devices and technology they love, and keep our economy strong,” said CWTA president Bernard Lord.

Today, more than 26 million Canadians have a mobile phone or wireless device. Traffic on some Canadian mobile networks is growing 5% every week. In order to meet this demand, wireless facilities need to be located wherever people use wireless service, whether that be at home, at work, or while commuting. Local governments and telecommunications carriers are doing their part, and we welcome the federal government’s support of this collaborative effort so that communities can benefit from wireless technology while having local priorities and concerns respected in the antenna siting process.

The Protocol is available at: http://fcm.ca/documents/tools/fcm/Antenna_System_Siting_Protocol_EN.pdf

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For more information, contact:
FCM – Mouktar Abdillahi, Media Relations Advisor, 613-907-6395, mabdillahi@fcm.ca
CWTA – Marc Choma, 613-233-4888 ext. 207, mchoma@cwta.ca