By Anthony Capkun
February 28, 2013 – Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) president Karen Leibovici and Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) president Bernard Lord announced 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 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 pre-consultation to ensure local land use priorities and sensitivities are reflected in the location and design of new antenna systems. Telecom carriers have agreed to notify municipalities of all antennas being installed before their construction—regardless of height—and to undertake full public consultation for towers under 15 m (whenever deemed necessary by the municipality).