YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PROVE A CELL MAST IS UNNECESSARY.
THE CELLULAR COMPANY HAS TO PROVE THAT IT IS NECESSARY FIRST.

You are being conned!
There is an injustice being perpetrated upon the public.

This is how it works: a mobile telephone company or a cell-mast-building company applies to a municipality or a land-owner. A notice is advertised, and communities are asked for their opinion.
Any community objections are invariably rejected, because they are ‘not substantiated’.

But just hold on one minute!

A mobile company does not have to substantiate why they want to build a cell mast, but the community needs to substantiate why they shouldn’t? How fair is that?

Communities who are anxious about cell mast applications should rather go on the offensive. Instead of appealing to the municipality or land-owner why they do not want a cell mast, they should rather challenge that cell company to prove why this mast actually is necessary.

According to national and local law and planning regulations, cellular companies need to substantiate why a mast is necessary for better communication in the first place.

So… the cell company needs to produce consumer requests for a cell mast in that particular area. They need to show that signals in that particular area are bad enough to justify a new mast. They need to show that this particular site is the only site that is suitable or available. They need to indicate how many other masts are in the area, and they need to show why they cannot share any existing infrastructure. In fact, they are required by law to PROVE that this mast is necessary. This is even before any community objections should be taken into account.

They need to show convincing proof that:
a) there is a prove-able lack of communication capacity in the area of the mast;
b) consumers in that area have requested a mast to improve connectivity;
c) there are not enough other cell masts in the vicinity with which they can share infrastructure;
d) their combined emissions fall below the recommended safety limits;
If they cannot prove these, then their application cannot be approved.

What is happening at the moment is that a cell mast company decides to put up a mast, simply because there is a vacant piece of land that looks suitable. They then make an application, dangling a juicy bit of money for the landowner. Now the poor community, who have to live with this mast for the foreseeable future, have to ‘prove’ that this is not a good idea. It really should be the other way round.

Also, it is very easy for the Land-Use department of any municipality simply to dismiss any community objections – “So what if 600 people don’t want a mast? The cell company wants it, and that’s good enough for me.” These municipal officials need to be placed on notice that there are certain obligations required by the cellular company as well, and if these are not satisfactory, then permission has to be denied.

So… if you have a cell mast application – rather begin by going on the offensive. Ask for the scoping reports and the studies that show the necessity of this mast. Ask for the consumer report, where members of the public have asked for better connectivity. Challenge the applicant to prove that this mast is necessary, that the selected site is the only available site, that the mast is meeting a proven need, that all other options have been considered. This is your right according to the law.

Now go out there and exercise it!

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