Home Telecoms & NBN Regional mobile coverage improving as blackspots steadily disappear

Regional mobile coverage improving as blackspots steadily disappear

Mobile blackspots in rural and regional Australia are slowly disappearing, with residents gaining improved and reliable mobile phone services as the country’s largest telco, Telstra, activates new mobile base stations in remote areas.

Telstra has just announced it has activated its 100th mobile base station under the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

This latest station in the small Victorian town of Culla, in the state’s Southern Grampians region, is the 100th blackspot site out of 577 where base stations are being deployed by Telstra under the MBSP.

Residents and businesses in regional areas are already benefitting due to the more than 50,000 square kilometres of new or improved mobile coverage under the $486 million co-investment in the blackspot programme by Telstra and the federal government.

Telstra said the rollout of mobile base stations would ramp up even further over the rest of the year.

The 100th milestone was announced on Thursday by Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn at Culla with the Federal Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash and local MP Dan Tehan.

“Whether you are at home, at work or in the field, we know that increased coverage is the number one priority for people and businesses in rural and regional Australia,” Penn said.

“The coverage we have already delivered under this programme would cover entire nations like Switzerland, Denmark or Costa Rica, and it is set to grow rapidly in the coming months.

“The improved coverage is increasing access to new technologies for key regional sectors like agriculture, transport, mining and tourism – technologies which rely on a fast, reliable and affordable mobile network.”

He said, “Thousands of people in rural and regional areas can now talk with family, friends and run their businesses more effectively through Telstra’s 4GX service, bringing you the fastest 4G speeds on your 4GX device in Australia”.

“We have also rolled out 34 of up to 250 innovative 4G data-only small cells to other communities to ensure more of rural and regional Australia has access to fast connectivity.”

Penn said Telstra was committed to the further rollout of the MBSP, with more than 200 new mobile base stations expected to be online in total in rural and regional locations before the end of the year.

“We are committed to continuing our long tradition of investing in rural and regional Australia by providing more state of the art services in more places than any other mobile provider.

“Australia’s current regulatory settings, combined with successful public and private co-investment programmes like the MBSP, are the best way to meet the needs of regional Australia now and in the future.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).