View up Mintha Street towards existing tower (circled)
Northern Rural Net (NRN), internet service provider which originated in Barry’s Bay in early 2017, has provided The Current with more detail about the proposed new communications tower mentioned in our report of the July 23 Council meeting. At that meeting, Council authorized the CAO to negotiate an agreement with NRN for installation of an 88-foot communications tower behind the municipal water tower in Barry’s Bay. The water tower referred to is on the hill near Mintha Street and Tower Hill Road – not near the wooden Water Tower in Railway Station Park.
Jason Peplinski of NRN wrote to Council saying the towers they use are not comparable to cell phone towers and their frequencies are extremely low. He explained to The Current that NRN’s towers are within the specs and do not require any licensing.
The new communications tower will replace the existing one near Valley Manor on Mintha Street and will be used for increased internet service. Peplinski told The Current it will be built 300 to 400 feet closer to the water tower on municipal property. As it will be under the 100-foot limit required by by-law, he does not believe it needs a light. NRN will assume responsibility for metered hydro and winter maintenance on the site. As shown in the photo above taken from Hwy 60 looking up Mintha Street to the existing tower, he says it will be mostly hidden from view by trees on the hill.
Once it is up, NRN will remove the existing tower which rests on private land. Peplinski says a tower usually takes about two days to construct or dismantle. Because NRN will build the new tower while the existing tower is in place, he expects a seamless transition when the new tower is switched on. He says the company’s existing 70 customers in Barry’s Bay may experience at most a momentary disruption in service. Peplinski hopes to build the new tower in the next one to two months and says it will allow NRN to provide service to a larger area including some locations on the western side of Kamaniskeg Lake.