Wireless Communication Facilities

In December 2012, the City adopted a Wireless Communication Design and Consultation Policy to establish design and consultation guidelines for applications for wireless facilities in the City. This includes rooftop installations and tower proposals, on private and public property including City lands, streetlights, streetscape and local utility poles. This policy was established to provide clarity for residents and applicants on future proposals. The policy also directs new installations to the higher density areas of the City as well as commercial and industrial lands.

Additionally the Rooftop Antenna Development Permit Guidelines guide the design of Third-Party Wireless Rooftop Antennas and enable issuance of a Development Permit by staff for applications in compliance with the guidelines.

Why Are Wireless Communication Facilities Needed?

Dramatic growth in the use of smartphones, tablets and other devices that use phone, text and data for everything from email to videos is outpacing the existing wireless network capacity in the City. Existing sites which once provided reliable service have become less effective when faced with higher demand volumes and gaps in service are increasing.

In addition, the licensing of wireless spectrum across the country has seen an increase in re-purposing of underutilized licenses adding capacity to the industry. The result of both of these trends is an increased demand for service sites in the form of requests for small antenna installations on streetlights or elsewhere in the streetscape, to rooftop antennas on private buildings to stand alone towers. The most common form in the City is rooftop antennas.

What about Health and Safety?

Federal standards have been established for health and safety in relation to safe human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic energy. This is regulated by Health Canada, through Safety Code 6.

Local governments do not have the authority nor expertise to comment on this standard. In some instances local Health Authorities have chosen to provide a statement on this topic. A copy of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Statement prepared for the City of Vancouver has been included below for reference.

Contact Info

Planning Division
Tel: 604-982-WORK (9675)
Email: gateway@cnv.org

Share |