Radio Amateurs of Canada Cautions Regulator Against Tower Rules Changes that Affect Hams
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) has told its membership that it will advise telecommunications regulator Industry Canada (IC) “in the strongest of terms” that no changes be made in tower siting rules that might negatively affect existing Amateur Radio antenna installations. A February 5 announcement, “Harper Government Making Changes to Cell Tower Placement Rules,” and a subsequent notice stating that changes to the current regulations would follow, prompted the RAC warning.
“RAC does not believe this policy change announcement was generated by problems caused by the Amateur Radio community,” assured Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA, RAC’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, adding that the current 15 meter (maximum) height “has worked well for several years.” Speaking on the RAC’s behalf, MacDonell pointed out that Amateur Radio antenna structures differ in many ways from cell phone towers in that they are typically smaller and less obtrusive, are owned by individuals and typically sited on the user’s residential property, and are in intermittent use.
“RAC has always been willing to work with Industry Canada in consultations [regulatory proceedings — Ed] that take into account the needs of the general community and Amateur Radio operators,” MacDonell said. “Radio amateurs are most noticed by the general community when they fill in for failing communications systems, such as has happened with floods and ice storms, or provide communications for community events,” he concluded. “We must be very careful not to make it needlessly difficult to install antennas as that would over time reduce the number of people able to provide these important community services.”