The New England Electorate will experience better mobile coverage with the continued rollout of the Coalition Government’s Mobile Blackspot Programme and the addition of $4.5 million by Optus to improve mobile coverage in the Tamworth area, Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said today.
Optus announced today that it will build new sites at locations in the New England Electorate in Tamworth, Oxley Vale, Attunga, Duri, Hallsville, Piallamore, Moonbi, Barraba, Bendemeer, and Kingswood, which is in addition to the $1.5 million investment made by Optus in the region over the past 12 months. Optus will also build sites in the Parkes Electorate in Gunnedah, Emerald Hill, Carroll and Curlewis.
“These new sites announced by Optus today add to the already significant investment in the New England Electorate by the Coalition Government under the Mobile Blackspot Programme which will see 37 new or upgraded mobile phone towers built to improve coverage for local residents,’ Mr Joyce said.
“It is great to see this investment by Optus and I look forward to working with them and other telcos to improve local mobile coverage.
“Mobile coverage for the New England Electorate is something I have worked hard for and will continue to push out to the edges of my electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
“Whether it’s phoning the neighbours, looking up cattle prices online, getting people out to do work, more connectivity means more opportunities for growth and development.”
Mr Joyce said the Mobile Black Spot Programme meant small business could operate more efficiently while improving safety on farms and roads.
“There are now 37 towers in total across the New England electorate eligible for new and improved mobile phone coverage,” he said.
“Labor did not help build a single mobile phone tower nor invest a single cent in mobile coverage in six years of Government.”
Together rounds 1 and 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme will deliver almost $600 million in new investment towards improving mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia. This $600 million investment is enabling the delivery of:
765 new and upgrade mobile base stations
86,300 square kilometres of new and upgraded handheld coverage
202,300 square kilometres of new external antenna coverage
over 7,600 kilometres new coverage to major transport routes.
As at 19 July 2017, a total of 205 base stations have been completed and are fully operational (7 Optus, 177 Telstra and 21 Vodafone).