A 5G tower on track for installation near a popular Trail park had a nearby resident contacting the Trail Times voicing concern over this newest technology.
“I’m a resident of Shaver’s Bench and I just found about a proposed 5G tower that TELUS wants to erect in Pople Park,” he began, requesting anonymity. “I have spoken to many residents in that area and not one of them wants this tower erected.”
He sited lack of environmental studies as extremely problematic as well as the sheer size of the tower and, as 5G uses higher frequency radio waves, the fact that children and other residents live nearby.
The Times contacted the telecommunications giant regarding 5G technology and what is involved in the process to move forward with such new technology.
“TELUS is planning to make a significant investment to enhance wireless coverage in Trail in direct response to demand from the community,” TELUS spokesperson Liz Sauvé replied.
“The municipality has engaged us to explore locations for a new cell tower, and the public consultation process for our proposal is underway.”
If constructed, this new tower will improve the overall wireless coverage throughout the city, making service more reliable and faster for all TELUS customers, Sauvé continued.
“The consultation process runs until June 28; we look forward to hearing feedback from residents and answering their questions, and will keep the community updated as we move forward.”
5G is the next evolution of wireless services from the current 4G LTE network in Trail, and this new cell tower will enable 5G service throughout the community if constructed.
“Improving coverage throughout Trail is not only important for residents and businesses to stay connected to what matters to them the most whether at home or on the go, but it also enhances public safety,” Sauvé said.
“More than 70 per cent of all phone calls to 911 these days come from a cell phone.”
Last month, TELUS announced a commitment to invest $13 billion in infrastructure and operations across B.C. through 2024, including bringing “blistering-fast” 5G network speeds to connect more than 187 communities to 5G by the end of 2021.
TELUS’ 5G network currently serves customers across the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, and in Victoria. Later this year, the company plans on expanding to more communities across the Interior, Kootenays, and Northern B.C.
How does 5G work?
Fifth generation — or 5G — networks are digital cellular networks for which the service area is divided into small geographical cells. The 5G signal is achieved partly by using new higher-frequency radio waves in addition to the low and medium band frequencies used in previous cellular networks. Already implemented in certain areas across Canada with median download speeds up to 169.46 Mbps, 5G runs 205 per cent faster than 4G download speeds. 5G is described as an entirely new, flexible network that will interface with all existing and evolving generations of wireless technology to come.
TELUS is proposing to construct a 52.3 meter tall monopole tower at a municipal-owned property known as Pople Park. All of the equipment necessary to operate this facility will be housed within a fenced compound located at the base of the tower. The tower, if constructed, will provide improved wireless service to the Trail community.
Although Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has exclusive jurisdiction over the placement of wireless telecommunications facilities, it requires the carriers to consult with the applicable local government and the general public regarding new installations. The public consultation process is intended to provide an opportunity to have questions from property owners addressed while respecting federal jurisdiction over the installation and operation of telecommunications systems.