Tow­er­ing over

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Cell phone tow­ers are not ex­actly the most pleas­ing site on earth, when one pops up in a doc­u­men­tary in Venice you feel a shock as we did a cou­ple of weeks ago.

First things first, the Cana­dian telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion in­dus­try is a mess and lack­ing reg­u­la­tions shared by so many in­stances that only spe­cial­ized lawyers and en­gi­neers can make sense of it. That it is a money mak­ing ma­chine un­seen on the planet is another facet.

Nowhere is the sys­tem com­pletely in favour of the in­dus­try. Let’s re­cap a bit. Re­mem­ber free TV. Well in a quirk in the sys­tem un­seen any­where but in Canada, Ca­ble op­er­a­tors can own tele­vi­sion sta­tions or vice-versa. And they can own tele­phone ser­vices and be an in­ter­net provider. So let’s ex­plain some facts. Cell­phones mostly use the same fre­quency that your free TV did. And ca­ble gets money from the free TV you used to get with an an­tenna. Oh, did we for­get ‘car­riage fees’ - money that the ca­ble op­er­a­tor must give to carry a ‘free’ tele­vi­sion sta­tion. Since they of­ten have the same owner, it’s not even dou­ble dip­ping but triple and quadru­ple dip­ping. And watch your ca­ble or satel­lite bill ex­plode when the un­bundling be­comes the norm in De­cem­ber.

Bell and Rogers, Rogers be­ing in: Ca­ble, Satel­lite, Broad­cast TV, Ra­dio, In­ter­net, Tele­phone and Mo­bile provider, and the lesser evils, Videotron in Que­bec who has such a share of view­er­ship with TVA that Amer­i­can pro­duc­ers scratch their heads daily, like Rogers ev­ery­where ex­cept ra­dio. And Co­geco, ev­ery­where in Canada and in Por­tu­gal as of five years ago.

Their next move is to sell you the fal­lacy of pay­ing a for­tune to watch the pro­grams that they pro­duce now in 4K on the tiny screen of your smart­phone, ad­just­ing the ads to your geopo­si­tion and de­mo­graphic while charg­ing you a small for­tune to do so.

If only for that and their nat­u­ral ar­ro­gance, we would ap­plaud the Mem­phrem­a­gog MRC may­ors for their call for a mora­to­rium on the erec­tion of new tow­ers. In the re­gion: Help­ing Bell sur­vive the on­slaught of Videotron on the mar­ket in Que­bec.

First things first: Any ex­ist­ing tower site can be shared by all providers. What­ever the fre­quen­cies.

Sec­ond tow­ers can be cam­ou­flaged to blend into the dé­cor. Do a sim­ple Google search. What the providers DON’T WANT is to start a prece­dent. Do it in Ayer’s Cliff or Bolton and then it would cost a bil­lion or more to do it ev­ery­where. Funny, they do it in Ver­mont and none have filed for bank­ruptcy. In Ver­mont you also need an en­vi­ron­men­tal study to pro­ceed. So the MRC’s ap­proach is doomed to fail­ure and will only re­sult in lawyers get­ting more money. What the MRC and all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties must do may sim­ply be to na­tion­al­ize the tow­ers. The sim­ple threat would send shiv­ers down the spine of the providers and would give mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties who have no ac­cess a means of get­ting it.

And if cell cov­er­age is es­sen­tial in Venice, it is also in our re­gion. It’s a fact of mod­ern life.

The sixth edi­tion of the De­je­uner du com­man­dant, the De­je­uner du Di­recteur MRC Coat­i­cook and De­je­uner du Di­recteur MRC Granit, held Mon­day morn­ing, raised $17, 250. Be­cause of the in­volve­ment of nu­mer­ous part­ners and restau­rants who of­fered for free the time of their em­ploy­ees and the food that was served, each do­na­tion made dur­ing the event was given en­tirely to the Cen­tre re­gional et Hotel­lerie de l’Estrie de la Fon­da­tion Que­be­coise du can­cer.

“The Que­bec Can­cer Foun­da­tion warmly thanks all those who took part from near and far in the project, no­tably the Sureté du Que­bec, Mike’s Restau­rant of Sher­brooke, Café Bistro La Bru­lerie of LacMe­gan­tic, Restau­rant La Place in Coat­i­cook, nu­mer­ous part­ners and every­one who of­fered a do­na­tion in ex­change for a break­fast,” com­mented Myr­iam Beaulé, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre re­gional et Hotel­lerie de l’Estrie de la Fon­da­tion Que­be­coise du can­cer. “Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of peo­ple like you, peo­ple with can­cer in the re­gion can find com­fort and sup­port with us.”

“For all those with can­cer in the re­gion and their loved ones, we of­fer our hearts and our energy to help make life a lit­tle eas­ier. We know that they need a pos­i­tive and re­as­sur­ing liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment, what they will find with the Fon­da­tion Que­be­coise du can­cer. Thank you to every­one who sup­ported us in this project,” said In­spec­tor Claude Des­gag­nés, com­man­der of the Sureté du Que­bec Estrie/Cen­tre-du-Que­bec. Over $17,000 was raised dur­ing the sixth edi­tion of the De­je­uner du Com­man­dant, held across the re­gion in var­i­ous restau­rants on Mon­day.

grew up in La Crosse, Wis­con­sin, earned a BA in Jour­nal­ism from the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son (1977) and since has had an ex­ten­sive writ­ing ca­reer in the jour­nal­ism field.

Since 1969, I've been a just­the-facts-ma'am jour­nal­ist work­ing in ra­dio and tele­vi­sion news­rooms in Wis­con­sin, Ger­many, Vir­ginia, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and At­lanta. High­lights of my ca­reer in­clude get­ting tear gassed while cov­er­ing the anti-Viet­nam War riots in 1970 at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son; do­ing a 40-minute, one-on-one ra­dio in­ter­view with Al­fred Hitch­cock in 1973 dur­ing my stint in the Army at the Amer­i­can Forces Net­work (AFN)-Europe; and cov­er­ing the White House for CBN News dur­ing the last three years of Ron­ald Rea­gan's pres­i­dency.”

In 1988, I joined CNN as a writer. From 2001 to 2005, I su­per­vised the writ­ing on "Day­break" an­chored by Carol Costello. From 2005 to 2013,

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