North Perth council supports Xplornet tower project to improve internet access in Wallace Ward

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – A request on behalf of Xplornet Communications Inc. for a letter of concurrence from the Municipality of North Perth to complete the required consultation process supporting a communication tower at 5791 Line 89 in Gowanstown was made of North Perth council on April 12. As a result, the municipality requested a “Letter of Undertaking” between Xplornet and the municipality.

The proposed tower is a lite duty self-support style communications structure which will be 45 metres high with transmitting and receiving antenna equipment mounted to the upper portion of the structure and provisions for future technology services.

The federal government regulates communications facilities through Industry Canada and are not subject to municipal or provincial planning approvals, however, Industry Canada requires that proponents seeking to install or modify antenna systems consult with land-use authorities.

The proposed Xplornet installation provides an opportunity to accommodate colocation with other licensed internet carriers limiting the number of new tower structures required in the area.

North Perth staff recommended council enter into a letter of undertaking with Xplornet to erect the tower.

Coun. Allan Rothwell said some of the councillors have had conversations with Xplornet and have been encouraging them to have a more significant signal, and he supports extending the reach of broadband into the Wallace Ward.

“Just further to Coun. Rothwell’s comments, it is really good to see some extended coverage… here in Wallace,” said Coun. Lee Anne Andriessen. She said rural businesses have concerns about reliable internet service in Wallace while other areas of North Perth recently had positive announcements about broadband projects.

“It’s great to see some change made to support Wallace,” said Andriessen.

Mayor Todd Kasenberg noted that there “is an ambitious proposal for Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology 2.0 which would greatly enhance internet access throughout most of rural southwestern Ontario.”

He said there are several initiatives through various levels of government and pointed out that the provincial government promised to top its rural broadband contributions up to $4 billion over the next five years in recent budget announcements.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner