Wireless telecommunication is an essential service, allowing Regina residents, businesses and service providers to communicate with ease and convenience using wireless technology, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. As demand and technology evolves, new infrastructure is required to ensure reliable and optimal service coverage.
Antenna systems – primarily, cell towers – are a key component of wireless telecommunication infrastructure. Locating new antenna systems involves a balance between optimal service coverage and good community design. The process, led by service providers (“carriers”), includes consultation with the City of Regina and community residents, as well as consideration of City guidelines (Antenna Systems Protocol).
Find information on the roles and responsibility of the federal government, the City and the service providers.
Government of Canada
The approval of proposed new antenna systems is the responsibility and jurisdiction of the Federal Government through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), as per the Radio Communications Act.
City of Regina
The role of the City is to review all proposed antenna systems, except ones that are exempt from requiring municipal concurrence, and to communicate our recommendation to ISED.
The role of the service provider is to ensure that the requirements of the Government of Canada and the City are followed, including:
Regina’s Guidelines: Antenna System Protocol
Regina’s Antenna Systems Protocol (Protocol) outlines the City’s expectations respecting:
- The location and design of proposed new Antenna Systems.
- Application submission requirements and community engagement.
- Process considerations respecting proposals involving the sale or lease of City-owned lands.
The Protocol serves as guidelines, recognizing that antenna systems are critical communication infrastructure and allowing the City to consider all proposals on a case-by-case basis, factoring in unique considerations.
Find frequently asked questions about telecommunication antenna systems in Regina.
Are cell towers safe?
The federal government relies on the recommendations of Health Canada when considering proposed new cell towers – according to federal government website information, there are no known adverse health effects with cell towers locating in residential areas.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, has a lot of information about cell towers and public health on its website.
What are the rules about building a new cell tower?
A wireless company must first study the possibility of sharing existing towers in an area before building a new tower. If none are suitable, the company must follow steps to build a new tower, including consulting the public and adhering to the municipality's requirements for tower siting and design. View Industry Canada’s helpful infographic on the process.
Can residents oppose the existence or location of a new tower in their area?
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has mandated new cell towers to ensure enough wireless service for all Canadians, so it is inevitable that new towers will need to be built and in the right locations. Wireless companies must inform the public on the location of a new cell tower in most cases and address resident concerns where possible.
The City’s position takes into consideration adherence to the local protocol and the feedback of affected residents. Where the City opposes the location or design of a proposed tower, it can indicate its opposition to the Federal Government and can request dispute resolution.
Why are there so many new towers being built in Regina?
SaskTel is in the process of upgrading its tower network to accommodate 5G technology and increased demand. 5G provides faster speeds, greater capacity and better support for devices. The nature of the technology requires that networks are densified and upgraded. This means that new towers will be added, and existing towers may be increased in height.