Construction starting on Island’s cell towers

MANITOULIN—The construction of seven new cellular towers will soon be underway on Manitoulin Island, with the towers to begin construction over the next few months.

The project to expand cellular and mobile high speed Internet on the Island is a joint effort between NetCentral Community Communications Network, a not-for-profit community-based telecommunications network, Rogers and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and is part of a larger project to install new HSPA+ cell and mobile high speed Internet sites across the North.

Several new wireless cell sites have already been established and activated in the North on Highways 64, 534 and 531, providing service to residents of Alban, Noelville, Monetville, the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, Bonfield and Elliot Lake.

[box float=”left”][polldaddy poll=7134045][/box]The 18 remaining sites are being established this year in Spanish, Sagamok First Nation, Field, Temagami, Highways 11 and 63, and on Manitoulin Island.

“Construction of the Manitoulin towers is in progress,” Morry Brown, general manager for NetCentral, told The Expositor last week. “Preliminary engineering work is being done and land lease agreements for the sites are being finalized, with the actual construction to begin shortly.”

The original proposed sites included Willisville, Whitefish Falls, Manitowaning, Sheguiandah, Wikwemikong, South Baymouth and M’Chigeeng. However, after NetCentral discovered that Bell was planning on installing a tower in Wikwemikong and realizing the need for a tower in the Mindemoya area, the Wikwemikong tower was changed to Mindemoya.

“People will see quite a different once the towers are operational,” continued Mr. Brown. “We are very pleased with how the project is proceeding and thankful to the support from the NOHFC and Rogers.”

Mr. Brown added that Islanders can soon expect to see the cellular tower sites cleared and the concrete anchors poured.

“The construction crews are very experienced,” said Mr. Brown. “Once it’s time to put up the towers, they will go up pretty quickly—in about a week.”

Though the towers will be going up within the next few months, Mr. Brown cautioned that there are still many other elements of construction, such as electronics, before the towers will be fully operational.

Robin Burridge