Cell phone service not just a luxury

I am writing in support of Telus’ application to build a cell tower on its French Creek site on Sunrise Drive.

I am writing in support of Telus’ application to build a cell tower on its French Creek site on Sunrise Drive. I did not write earlier because I believed common sense and need would prevail. To my disbelief and dismay, the RDN recently rescinded their support for this application. I believe that rescinding RDN’s former support for this tower was wrong and was based on misinformation.

Before I retired from B.C. Tel (now Telus) in 1996, I was a senior manager responsible for the building and operation of the-then cellular services and business Internet services in B.C. I have extensive knowledge of the service requirements for today’s smart phones.

Cell phone service was once a “nice to have, convenient service.” Today, it is a critical essential service, relied upon by police, fire, 911, ambulance/medical, disaster response organizations, business, residents and their children, tourists and all public services.

Over the past 30 years, wireless communications, telephone, Internet and data services have become a lifeline. Cell service has become many people’s only mode of Internet and telephone communication.

I moved to Chartwell in Qualicum Beach in October 2015. I soon found that the cell service at my residence was virtually unusable. I work from home and was forced to install an expensive cell signal enhancer on my roof in order to be able to use my cell phone inside my house. In almost all of the surrounding area (French Creek, Eaglecrest, Chartwell and nearby Hwy 19A), coverage is spotty at best and in some places, non-existent.

The smart phone technology of today uses a small fraction of the transmit/receive power of older generation cell phones.

The necessity of good cellular coverage outweighs the ill-informed concerns of the few residents who opposed the French Creek site. This Telus cell tower must be built to ensure adequate public safety in this area.

Ron FisherQualicum Beach