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Concerned that McKellar Council could provide no news in respect to the Rogers communications tower contracted to be installed in 2016, 2017 or 2018 at the top of the Maplewood subdivision peninsula on Manitouwabing Lake, on August 28th 2017 MLCA sent a letter to Joe Natale, President & CEO, Rogers Corporation, with a copy to Arnold Abramowitz, Vice-President, Wireless Access Networks.  Here is their response.

 

"Thank you for reaching out about our planned cell tower in your community and your offer to help promote our services to your residents.

 

"As you rightly point out, access to reliable communications services is a necessity for residents and businesses.  Whether its accessing government and emergency services, staying in touch with family and friends, or selling online, access to mobile and internet service is crucial.  Thats why continuing to improve coverage and reliability is a significant priority for us.

 

"We look forward to continuing to work through the planning process for this specific site.  My team will be sure to keep you up to date on progress.

 

"I appreciate your offer of promotional assistance and I have forwarded the information along to our marketing team. We are always looking for new ways to reach out to potential customers.

 

"Once again, thank you for being in touch.  We look forward to updating you on our planning for this site in the next few months. - Sincerely, Arnold Abramowitz, VP Wireless Access Networks, Rogers Communications.

 

The Rogers annual budgeting process begins in August and ends in November.  While Mr. Abramowitz's letter is encouraging, it does not confirm construction of the tower will take place in 2018 as contracted.  We will continue to keep MLCA Members and McKellar residents informed as the process unfolds.  For your interest, here is the letter MLCA sent to Rogers.

 

August 28th2017

 

Mr. Joe Natale, President & CEO

Rogers Corporation

333 Bloor Street East

Toronto, Ontario M4W 1G9

 

Dear Mr. Natale:

 

On behalf of the many Rogers customers who are also Members of the Manitouwabing Lake Community Association (MLCA) I would like to express our deep appreciation to you and your colleagues who are in the final stages of planning to install a 35 metre self-supporting monopine communications tower (site C3010) in the Township of McKellar, Ontario, in 2018.

 

While a long time coming, and after several presentations to the local council by both Rogers representative Jay Lewis (Summit-tel.com) and MLCA officers, the project was finally approved in December 2015.  To assist Summit, MLCA undertook a survey of its members to determine the quality of internet and cellphone service in the community.

 

The 2015 survey, conducted to determine support for Rogers proposed tower, revealed that 82% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with their current level of service.  For those who own childrens camps, resorts, licensed rental cottages and camp grounds, whose customers depend on reliable internet/cellphone service, the problem is particularly challenging as they rely to a large degree on repeat business.   The growth and very existence of all local businesses is dependent upon the quality of the technology offered by Rogers and its competitors. 

 

In the interim, Rogers customers in the area to be serviced by the new tower have reported deteriorating signal strength and unreliable connections.  This is disappointing and very frustrating as 37% of seasonal residents who completed the 2015 MLCA survey indicated they would spend more time in the community if they had good internet and cellphone service; and a further 21% said they would consider doing so.  The more time seasonal residents spend in the community translates into greater spending at local businesses.

 

All of which translates into increased business for Rogers Corporation.  In addition to retaining existing customers (full-time residents and seasonal residents who are Rogers customers in Southern Ontario) and growing usage fees, Rogers has an opportunity to convert at least some of the 55% of survey responders who are customers of other suppliers and have indicated dissatisfaction with their levels of service.

 

Members strongly supported Rogers proposal to construct a 35 metre monopine tower as it would blend into the landscape, not present a hazard to the float planes that regularly land to deliver valued visitors and seasonal residents to the lake, and may not be required to carry aeronautical obstruction lighting.

 

An ideal location was chosen close to the centre of the Manitouwabing Lake area and its many tributaries.  To be located at the highest elevation in the area at 270 metres, the 35 metre self-supporting monopine will provide a signal range comparable to a 60 to 100 metre tower at a lower elevation and was by far the most appealing option.

 

While still currently frustrated with poor internet and cellphone service, we are excited and looking forward to taking advantage of much improved communications services beginning in 2018.  Please pass on our thanks to the Rogers managers and employees who have worked on this project.  Their technical expertise, willingness to listen to our concerns, persistence and due diligence has been much appreciated.

 

As a token of appreciation, we would like to offer MLCA's assistance in promoting the project.  No, we do not have the immense promotional resources available to Rogers, but we do have the home addresses of 375 Southern Ontario families in the community who are mainly cottager Members of MLCA.  Add to this a significant number of local residents and cottagers who regularly view the news on the MLCA website http://www.mlca.ca and we have access to a high penetration rate of property owners in the community.

 

MLCA website advertisers are offered the opportunity to periodically send an email to the 478 individuals who are registered to receive this service.  In addition, the Association has the ability to send addressed admail to all members home addresses, about 45% of whom are existing Rogers' customers. (As per MLCA's privacy policy, the services are provided by MLCA, but advertisers are never given access to Members names, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses).

 

As a small not-for-profit volunteer organization, MLCA is financially sound and not in need of additional funding, but we are anxious to support our community by strongly advocating for construction and activation of the Rogers monopine communications tower as contracted in 2018. If assisting Rogers in its promotional activity will help ensure that result, we are more than happy to co-operate. The foregoing and enclosed promotion piece describe the value of MLCAs support, which clearly outweighs the minimal financial cost to Rogers.

 

We look forward to assisting Rogers in this mutually beneficial endeavour.

 

Sincerely,

 

Philip J. Boyd, President

Manitouwabing Lake Community Association

10 Gardenview Road, McKellar, Ontario P2A 0B5

Phone: 416-239-0099 or 905-566-1843   Email: philboyd@rogers.com  

 

cc Mr. Arnold Abramowitz, Vice-President Network Planning & Access, Rogers Corporation

cc Township of McKellar Council

 

 
October 23, 2017