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New tech could end cell tower disputes

City streetlamps could hold the key to ending ongoing cellular tower disputes if the city and industry can implement new technology.

City streetlamps could hold the key to ending ongoing cellular tower disputes if the city and industry can implement new technology.

The city’s land use, planning and transportation committee set up a committee of stakeholders to examine the implementation of cellular antennas inside street lights.

“We really do have to find a solution. We cannot allow our city to be overrun by ugly structures, but we have to respond to the fact that Calgarians love their cellphones,” said Ald. Bob Hawkesworth.

Nick Makaley, who explained the new technology to the committee, said it was an evolving technology, detailed in pictures from Toronto and concept art.

The technology could potentially do away with the battle between residents who don’t want to have the towers in their neighbourhoods and cell companies who need to put them up.

“There’s going to be a lot of people who are excited about this. I think it’s the best option,” said Wayne Frisch, a resident of Rutland Park, where emotions have run high over a proposed tower.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s going to be too late for us, which is sad.”

Chris Gerritsen, a Telus spokesperson, said he’s not sure the technology would be strong enough for his company’s needs, but if the technology is there they would look into it.