Communications towers a private matter for landowners

If a company wants to erect a cell tower or some other communications tower, it’s generally a private matter between it and the landowner.
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Landowners have the right to say no to communications towers, which include cellular, wireless internet, and oil/gas communications towers.

“Many landowners assume that communications towers fall under the Alberta Surface Rights Act,” said Jeana Schuurman, rural engagement and communications specialist with the Farmers’ Advocate Office.

“Communications towers are actually federally regulated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, so the provincial Surface Rights Act does not apply.”

That means there is no right-of-entry or expropriation for communications towers.

“A company may approach you if it is seeking coverage for that service area, but you have the right to say ‘no’ if you are not interested,” said Schuurman.

“Landowners should also be aware that the compensation structure and mechanism for periodic review in the Surface Rights Act does not extend to communications towers.

Contracts for communications towers are negotiated directly between the landowner and the company. A document on this issue can be found on the Alberta Agriculture website.

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