A group of Watch Lake-Green Lake residents have started a petition in support of a Telus proposal to install wireless service in their area.
The proposal, which will be submitted to the Cariboo Regional District Council for consideration on Friday, calls for the construction of a 63.1-meter-high freestanding tower on private 80-acre land at 6235 Green Lake North Rd. Near Watch Lake. . According to Telus, the proposed facility will provide “reliable voice and data service to the Watch Lake community and improve personal safety, as the majority of emergency calls are made using wireless devices.”
Angela Wynton, who started the petition, said wireless cell service is desperately needed in the rural area, which is home to several elderly people and prone to a high number of power outages. With such erratic service and great distances between communities, she said, it is dangerous for people who could break down or get stuck on the roads during the winter or fall into their homes and not be able to get up.
“It’s an overall security concern,” Wynton said. “It’s something that people need. This is the way the world is.
About 144 people signed the petition supporting the proposal, with four additional letters of support. However, one person objected to the project, saying that she had “left town to get away from these towers”.
Maureen LeBourdais, CRD director for Horsefly – Likely – 150 Mile House said the proposal would go to the board on Friday for “approval.” While not speculating on the outcome of the meeting, she noted that the priorities of the CRD’s broadband strategy for wireless and broadband services include areas along road corridors.
“Generally speaking, that’s what we want to see,” she said. “We know this area is one of our priority areas for the sake of the fire and the safety of the community.”
However, she stressed that the support of residents is crucial. The CRD recently opposed a Rogers proposal to install a wireless tower near 141 Mile after concerns from residents. The CRD asked Rogers to conduct another public consultation, which found the area was already heavily served and most residents did not want the tower.
“The need has not been demonstrated,” said LeBourdais. “Our priority is the main corridors, but this section was already served. “
CRD’s recent Broadband Connectivity Report provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of connectivity in the region, identifies key areas for improvement, and offers an overview of potential approaches to bring modern levels of broadband service. at the Cariboo.