People living and travelling through the village of Weabonga will now have better phone service to make calls, browse the internet and stay connected with family and friends following the switch on of a new mobile service.
Funded by the Federal Government and Telstra under Round 4 of the Mobile Black Spot Program, the new small cell mobile base station will improve phone service along Weabonga Road, east of Tamworth.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, was pleased that more local residents would now have better service.
“People in the New England, no matter their location, deserve access to the same 21st century mobile communications as those in the big centres,” Mr Joyce said.
“That’s why I have been pushing for and delivering more mobile coverage in more locations across our electorate, even in the furthest reaches like at Weabonga.
“This new mobile base station is the latest of 45 sites across New England to receive new or improved mobile coverage under the program.”
The Weabonga base station was also the 873rd site funded under the Mobile Black Spot Program to be switched on.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said the switch on of the new mobile base station in Weabonga under the Mobile Black Spot Program reflects the Morrison-McCormack Government’s commitment to further improving connectivity in the regions.
“This significant investment as part of the Mobile Black Spot Program means that people living, working and travelling in the New England will now have better mobile coverage. This is especially important following this summer’s devastating bushfires,” Minister Fletcher said.
“While no telecommunications network is 100 per cent impervious to damage from natural disasters, Australians naturally want to be confident our communications networks are as resilient as possible. The Mobile Black Spot Program is an important part of this as it provides an alternative communications option if another network goes down during an emergency situation.
“The first five rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program are funding more than 1,200 mobile base stations around Australia, with more than 880 of these already on air and providing much needed mobile connectivity to rural and regional areas.”
Minister for Regional Communications, Regional Health and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, said the Coalition Government is committed to improving connectivity for people living in regional and rural areas.
“The improved service is thanks to the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program, which is eradicating phone black spots across the New England,” Minister Coulton said.
“This Government knows how frustrating it is to be talking on the phone or browsing the internet and then lose service, so we’re getting on with the job of building more phone towers to deliver better service.
“Not only will these towers make it easier for people to stay connected to family and friends, it will also make it easier to do business and access education.”
Minister Coulton said more than 40,000 Triple 0 calls have so far been made possible through the Mobile Black Spot Program.
More information about the program is available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp