By Thomas Goyer
Bell is hoping to improve internet service in the Bala area by installing a temporary cell tower on Burgess St.
Bell advisor Matthew Milligan spoke before Muskoka Lakes council on Wednesday seeking council’s blessing before the tower is employed on June 25. While Bell does not need council’s support to erect the tower, Milligan says the company wants council support. “We are looking for your support on this, and ideally through a resolution indicating you concur,” says Milligan.
The tower would be located at the Bala Central switching office on Burgess Ave. It would be trailer-mounted, 27 meters tall and would be powered by a switching station.
The tower is needed to help with unprecedented demand for wireless services caused by the pandemic. With more people working from home, students doing virtual school or residents spending more time at seasonal residences there are too many mobile users and not enough bandwidth creating bandwidth congestion for users.
The tower would be temporary and is expected to be removed in October when demand will is expected to drop.
Several members of council expressed concern over the lack of public consultation but agreed that the tower was needed.
“I don’t know why we wouldn’t support it quite honestly; this isn’t just for bell to make more money this is for our constituents to communicate,” said Councillor Zavitz.
Although the tower was supposed to be removed on October 14, council agreed that it should remain up for cranberry festival and instead be removed on October 21.
Council voted unanimously supporting the temporary tower.
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