NS: EastLink getting ready to roll out new wireless services

Kim Moar
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Halifax NewsNet

The new network will provide traditional cellular phone service, as well as advanced voice and data applications.

[HALIFAX, NS] — With applications for more than a dozen new telecommunications towers in HRM, EastLink hopes to have its new wireless network online by mid-2012.

The new network will provide traditional cellular phone service, as well as advanced voice and data applications, said Jill Laing, manager of public and media relations for EastLink.

"If you look at the exploding demand for voice and data ... and the kind of mobile applications that people are using their hand-held devices for these days, that's what this will be for, as well as advanced business data services," Laing said. "This is all about the future application of wireless."

Laing said to provide the new service, EastLink has applications for 13 new towers, and approximately 20 rooftop antenna installations at various stages in the development process.

Several public meetings have been held in HRM neighbourhoods over the past few months, many of them met by residents angry over the requested location of the new tower.

"There's no question that there is some concern out there, but it's certainly not with every site," Laing said.

While HRM organizes the meetings about new telecommunication tower applications, and makes a recommendation, it is not the approving authority.

Wireless communications are a federal government jurisdiction, and companies must apply to Industry Canada for a license to operate an installation at each specific location.

Industry Canada says the location of telecommunications facilities is important in providing the quality of service that the public expects. Radio waves are limited in how far they can travel while still being reliable. As demand for wireless services increases, more towers are required, often closer to users.

Laing said locations are chosen to give optimum coverage, and may be found on public or private land.

She said the 13 most recent applications to HRM are likely the last of them for this municipality.

Similar applications are being made in other jurisdictions throughout Nova Scotia and in P.E.I.

Once Industry Canada makes a decision about a particular tower application, there is no appeal procedure.

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Applications for new EastLink towers span HRM

Here's a list of current applications on HRM's books for new telecommunications towers:

- 50-metre telecommunication tower at 14 Laura Dr., Cow Bay

- 76.5-metre self-supporting tower and associated equipment cabinets on a portion of lands located at Crowell Road just past Little Lake, East Lawrencetown

- 40-metre telecommunication tower at 1000 Cole Harbour Rd., Cole Harbour

- 40-metre telecommunication tower at 805 Highway 7 in Westphal

- 50-metre telecommunication tower off of Lawrencetown Road (Highway 207). As proposed, the location of the tower is north of 2179 Lawrencetown Rd., and approximately one kilometre east of Ross Road

- 60-metre telecommunication tower at 230 Lucasville Rd., Middle Sackville

- 42.7-metre telecommunication tower off Daisywood Drive in Hammonds Plains

- 61-metre telecommunication tower at 105 Ketch Harbour Rd., Herring Cove

- 61-metre telecommunication tower at 2699 Old Sambro Rd., Williamswood

- 60-metre self-supported telecommunication tower at 160 Kearney Lake Rd., Halifax (Gateway Materials quarry), on a small portion of the subject property (75 acre parcel)

- 76.2-metre telecommunication tower on a 4 acre portion of the subject property to the east of 2780 Prospect Rd., Whites Lake

- 76-metre self-supported telecommunication tower at the end of Brunt Road in White's Lake

- 35-metre telecommunication tower (monopole) at 547 Herring Cove Rd., Halifax

Organizations: Industry Canada

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Lawrencetown Road Herring Cove Cow Bay Crowell Road Little Lake Westphal Ross Road Lucasville Middle Sackville Kearney Lake Whites Lake Brunt Road

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