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Tribal trouble for cell phone signals?

Canadian tribes want a fee for cell phone transmissions passing through their airspace.

A group of native Canadian tribes are seeking compensation from Manitoba Telecom Services for cell phone signals they claim are violating their air space.

Tribal trouble for cell phone signals?

According to the CBC, the Assembly of Manitoba chiefs is trying to negotiate revenue sharing for signals that cross the land, water and air space of their reserves and traditional territories.

"When it comes to using airspace, it's like using our water and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do," Chief Ovide Mercredi of the Grand Rapids First Nation told the news agency.

Blog community response:

"An interesting stance to First Nations rights and land claims. I had never even thought to consider that the air around us could be a valuable leverage tool in negotiations."
--Sonny Assu

"Honestly, this is the type of claim that is just going to 1) lose you all kinds of credibility, and 2) cast every legitimate claim you make in a bad, bad light."
-- Phase 1: Collect Underpants

"Using your airspace to send telecommunication signals, however, has no effect on your use of that airspace. Others can send as many signals as they wish, and the quantity of airspace available to you is undiminished. In fact, absent high-tech telecommmunication-monitoring equipment, how would the chiefs even know whether someone is sending cell phone signals through their airspace? If negotiations with Manitoba Telecom Services reach an impasse, I'd like to see the chiefs try a blockade."
--Magic Statistics