Overview of the Situation in the Eastern Townships

A Little History and the Number of Towers in the Area

There are more than 80 cell towers within 50 km of Knowlton (not counting Sherbrooke).  There are at least 30 cell towers in Sherbrooke alone. There are 2 towers just on Owl’s Head.

And these numbers just represent cell towers. Each tower has from 2 to 5 antennas on it from different companies (a few have more), meaning that there are at least 300 transmitting antennas within 50  km of Knowlton.

Bell admits that, in East Bolton at least, it is not about providing better cell phone coverage.  That has already been achieved.  It is all about providing increased bandwidth for Internet service.  However, high speed internet access is already available through many other ways (satellite, fibreoptic cable in some areas, and even through the cellular network)… 

When Patrimoine Bolton Heritage discovered Bell’s plans, our first concern was what these towers would do to our beautiful landscapes.  The tallest tower which they want to put on chemin Mountain would be 90 meters high, with 13 antennas on it.  Imagine a 30-storey unsightly structure of metal and wires on our beautiful mountain in the same view as the Abbaye Saint-Benoit-du-Lac! 

Recent Additions and Their Impacts

Because of the non-transparent modus operandi of the communications companies regarding their plans for towers, this list may be incomplete.  Information is obtained by word of mouth and newspapers and often arrives after the fact.

Even after installation of a cell phone tower, cell phones still don’t work. Residents are upset that the construction of a cell tower did not provide cell phone service.  They were told that they had to upgrade their cell phones to get service.

A group of citizens led a valiant struggle against this tower including a 6 year legal battle. They lost. The lesson learned was that the only court in which you can win is the court of public opinion.

Canton de Stanstead
Stanstead has one cell tower.
Feb 20, 2013 Stanstead Journal has article (jean francois nadeau – le devoir)

A Bell cellular tower recently erected in Ogden is proving contentious because of a high intensity flashing red light at the top. The light is a disturbance to neighbours at a high elevation in line with the top of the tower, as well as residents of Austin and Potton, situated on the opposite side of Lake Memphremagog.

Roxton Falls
Le conseil municipal de Roxton Falls a décidé d’exclure définitivement les zones blanches, dites à développement résidentiel, des possibles lieux où la compagnie de télécommunications Rogers pourrait ériger une tour.

St-Etienne de Bolton
On Libby Lake, a 26 meter tower was erected “Il s’agit d’une malheureuse plaie de plus au paysage de la région.” – Guy Lafrance, résident (Reflet du Lac, 25 sept 2013)

There are 3 towers within 5 Km of Sutton (as of Jan 19, 2013). And more are planned.

Bell’s Plans and Community Reaction

East Bolton
Bell is planning to put 2 towers in East Bolton:
a guyed 90 meter tower

Guyed Tower

300 foot tower showing the network of guy wires necessary to hold it up. The footprint is a radius almost as long as its height. These wires and the structure itself cause the death of 6.8 million birds per year in North America.

(295 feet or 30 storeys tall) – with 13 antennas on it – on chemin Mountain; the other a self-supporting 76 meter tower (250 feet or 25 storeys tall) in Bolton Pass.

Do we need towers at all? The Municipality of East Bolton did not approve Bell’s project because it contravenes the Municipal By-Laws regarding height and visual corridor. A group of concerned citizens does not believe that any additional towers are necessary and is organizing information meetings and film viewings in East Bolton to inform fellow residents of Bell’s plans.

Citizens of Frelighsburg oppose the construction of a 300 foot tower. « Cette tour de 328 pieds, ou 32 étages, sera visible non seulement de notre village mais aussi de chaque coin de notre région et du Vermont. La nuit, cette structure sera éclairée. Notre village de Frelighsburg est désigné parmi les plus beaux du Québec et ses paysages sont d’une beauté exceptionnelle. La valeur de notre environnement est inestimable. »

Bell originally planned to put 3 towers in Potton. After many citizens complained, Bell reduced the number to 1. This clearly means that Bell’s original estimate was inflated. Is the current estimate also inflated? What is the truth? Do we need towers at all? Potton has a Antenna System Siting Protocol. A group of concerned citizens does not believe that any additional towers are necessary and is organizing information meetings and film viewings in Potton to inform fellow residents of Bell’s plans.

Citizens of Sutton oppose the construction of 2 Bell Towers (one in Sutton Junction, the other on Mont Sutton). On October 3rd, 2013 a unanimous resolution by the Sutton town council was made to halt the construction of the cell tower at 1111 chemin de la Vallee.


Quick Links

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Count of Microwave Transmitters NEAR YOU

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Map of Cell Towers

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18 teachers refused work at Toronto school over possible radiation from cellphone tower

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