celltowersEarlier this year, Rogers Communication notified the Township of Stone Mills council that Rogers would be putting up a 106 metre tall guyed cell tower. About 400 metres away from our home and observatory. Apparently we are just outside the 300 odd metre notification zone, where they would notify us directly. Instead we had to go digging for information about the exact details.

When we finally established a general idea of where on our horizon it would go, and how high it would appear (approx 15 degrees up), we started drafting our submission to them.

Just recently were newspaper notices published in the Napanee papers (2014 March 27th).
From the notice it appeared that if we had any concerns we had to get them in to Rogers, in writing before 2014 April 27th. We have done this and await a reply.

Our concerns were specifically directed to how this lighted cell tower would impact operations on the observatory. Depending on how bad the lighting was going to be, it had the potential to have an extreme impact on operations.. to the point that some or all would have to be shut down.

We have been monitoring solar activity, both visually and in the radio spectrum, for 12 years now from this site. We have been monitoring auroral activity and Ionospheric disturbances for almost 10 years.

More recently we host observational equipment from both Queen’s University and the University of Western Ontario.

All in all, a serious impact vs better signal service from Rogers for a few hundred people. How does one gauge the net benefit?

Well, to start with, we question the rationale, business case and location for this proposal.
We noted that Bell recently proposed a tall tower north of Kingston, but then cancelled it

We note that Bell has in the process of construction of a new tall tower west of Yarker (Bethel and Cutler Roads) and that Rogers claimed that they had investigated co-locating with other existing towers but that none work. Hmmmm. Perhaps they should tell that to Bell.

In any event, we will wait to see what happens, as the local Township has no authority over the process. We can only communicate with Rogers and Industry Canada.

From this web site: http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html
we find a map of all existing towers in the area, a great resource.

Updated: 2014 May 09 – still no response from Rogers at all.