Manitoba chiefs think the air is a “resource”

Chiefs of the Manitoba First Nations are trying to gain the cell phone revenues of Manitoba Telecom Services claiming that it should get a cut because airspace is the same resource as land or water. To me, this is fairly amusing because my first question would be if they’re asking for revenues from AM/FM vendors, television, and anyone else that would be crossing the airspace. Chasing after this could also potentially backfire. They can and should be paid for physical footprint of towers. That’s standard procedure.
However, what could backfire is that MTS redirects all of their antennas away from any of the First Nations land and pull any towers inside that territory. You could potentially lose all cellular coverage if someone doesn’t wish to share the revenue stream. Is that something that the Manitoba First Nations can afford to lose?
I think that this comes from people not understanding how wireless works and just seeing dollar signs from cellular providers. Obviously there are plenty of holes in the airspace argument. We’ll see where this goes, since if First Nations wins out, there will be many more proposals as such to be seen and some will begin in the US. From my perspective, I don’t see how it can be justified.
Textually < CBC