I appreciate that there is frustration concerning the delays in the activation of the fixed wireless service in the North Sault area due to the time it is taking to retrofit the Bellevue tower to accept the additional antenna load.
However, the importance of ensuring that the tower is sturdy enough to support the load was recently presented on Manitoulin Island.
An account in the Manitoulin Expositor on March 09, 2011 by Michael Erskine reported the following:
“Violent winds toppled a key tower providing wireless Internet services to Wikwemikong and Sheguiandah recently resulting in a weeklong interruption in what has become a vital communication service. But the toppled tower quickly revealed that mechanical failure was just the beginning of the problems of web surfers in the affected regions.
“Manitoulin ISP operator Craig Timmermans provided the tower's services to the Internet provider OmniGlobe Networks and spent a frustrating week trying to determine how the damaged tower and equipment would be repaired.
"They really had too much gear on my tower," noted Mr. Timmermans, who said that he felt the loading of the tower played a role in its demise in the high winds.”
As understand it, in the Manitoulin case only Internet traffic was affected. If the Bellevue tower suffered the same fate, both cell and broadband service at the Goulais (Buttermilk), Heyden and Searchmont sites would also be loss.
I think we can all agree it is better to be safe than sorry.