More Cellphone Towers Coming to UBC

“UBC is experiencing an increasing number of requests for new voice-based cellular installations on campus and in the adjacent university neighbourhoods.”

So says Campus and Community Planning, and as a result, they commissioned a consultant’s report to review how they handle applications for new cellular installations. What they found is that the current system is fairly disorganized, but that the blame is spread amongst both UBC and the cellular carriers.

The carriers’ feelings…

All of them commented about the complexity of the UBC approval process yet all agreed in discussion that they could probably contribute to the process if more involved in it. The perception in some cases was of a confrontational process rather than a collaborative one.

And from UBC’s side…

Everyone was prepared to accept that the carriers might perceive UBC as the cause of the problems, though their perceptions were more that the carrier demands were often unreasonable.

The recommendation from the consultants is that both sides should grow the fuck up and do shit right.

UBC should treat good cell reception on campus as a necessary utility all over campus, like electrical service, and plan for how to achieve good service when planning buildings or neighbourhoods. UBC should divide buildings into “acceptable” and “non-acceptable” categories for use for cellular installations, suggest a network of sites to best provide coverage to the whole campus, and force all the cell companies to share those sites.

The carriers should be proactive, rather than reactive, about building cellular installations on campus since UBC can already tell them where population growth will be. They also shouldn’t bitch about having to share sites since it’ll save them money anyways.

It’s a good read if you’re interested. And for the curious, they provide a list of current and proposed cellular installations at UBC. (NOTE: This does not include installations in Pacific Spirit Park or the UEL, which would also provide service to certain parts of campus.)

Existing and proposed cell-phone installations at UBC

Wind Mobile 1) Acadia Tower; 2) Henry Angus
Bell 1) Henry Angus; 2) Matthews Field
Rogers 1) Henry Angus; 2) Matthews Field; 3) Totem Residence (in process)
Telus 1) Henry Angus; 2) Museum of Anthropology (in-build); 3) Gage Tower North (in process); 4) Koerner Pavilion (UBC consent only, no license); 5) FERIC Building (UBC consent only, no license)
Mobilicity Buchanan Tower (in process)


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