Wireless communications services – wireless Internet, data and voice communication – are expected to improve in the Houston area.
Telus is planning to build a new wireless communications facility in town.
The company has recently received approval from Houston council to move forward, and didn’t receive any comments from the community during the consultation phase.
“The District of Houston is satisfied with Telus’ public consultation process and does not require any further consultation with the public,” states a motion recently carried by council.
The company is proposing a 45-metre tower in a mature treed area near 1935 Vriend Road.
“This location was selected for a few reasons, including the fact that this location enables us to maximize the reach of the signal in the area, and because it’s a mature treed area, the tower will largely be shrouded by the trees which helps it blend in with the landscape,” explained Liz Sauvé, a Telus spokesperson.
When looking to enhance cellphone service in a community, the company’s first option is usually to place an antenna on an existing piece of infrastructure in order to make the most minimal impact on the landscape. However, after reviewing the area, Telus didn’t find a suitable existing location in Houston.
Sauvé added that this project is based on increasing demand from the community.
Although the company is still in the planning stage, they anticipate that construction will begin later this year and the site will be operational by the spring of 2019.
Rob Newell, Director of Electoral Area G (Houston rural), told Houston Today earlier this year that rural areas of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako need to be better served when it comes to cellphone and Internet connectivity.
He said the absence of cellphone coverage in many rural areas poses serious problems for Search and Rescue units, 911 and wildfire management.