Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mobile blackspots blitzed

MOBILE phone reception will be boosted in remote parts of the Derwent Valley and highlands though "mobile blackspot" program announced today. More than $12.6 million will be spent on 19 mobile phone base stations across the Lyons electorate.

The big spend effecting 50 unique locations and 15 different sections of roads and highways across the electorate would make a huge difference to the lives of people in the region, Federal Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson said. "The Federal Government has contributed $5.2 million towards the total cost of the major communications upgrade in Lyons," he said.

Mr Hutchinson said the upgrades will mean that 65 of the 155 mobile black spots identified across the electorate will be addressed. "And the Federal Government has committed to a second round of incentive funding to encourage telecommunications operators to bid for contracts for other locations," he said.

The funding announced today will see new base stations established at the following locations:

  • Bothwell (Vodafone)
  • Brandum, Great Lake (Vodafone)
  • Cramps Bay, Great Lake (Telstra)
  • Hamilton (Vodafone)
  • Highland Lakes Rd between Steppes and Bothwell (Vodafone)
  • Lyell Highway, Wayatinah (Vodafone)
  • Miena (Vodafone)
  • Tarreleah (Vodafone)

Coverage will be provided to all or part of the following locations in Lyons either by handheld phones or via external antennas on motor vehicles: Hamilton, Bothwell, Hollow Tree, Brandum, Little Pine Lagoon, Miena, Cramps Bay, Tarraleah, Wayatinah, and Dee Lagoon.

Roads and highway sections where coverage will now be provided include:

Highland Lakes Rd – between Bothwell and Great Lake
Hollow Tree Rd – between Lyell Highway and Hollow Tree
Hollow Tree Rd – between Hollow Tree and Halletts Hill
Lyell Highway – between Bronte and Derwent Bridge
Lyell Highway – between Tungatinah Power Station and Ouse
Marlborough Highway – between Miena and Bronte Park

Mr Hutchinson said the major spend in Lyons on mobile black spots was a tremendous help for the community and a boost for tourism. "We took this issue in our electorate very seriously and the feedback we had on the ground was that it was more important in many areas to our community than NBN connection," he said.

"I want to thank the councils in Lyons for their help on this and I want to thank Telstra and Vodafone for their support for regional and remote communities in my electorate. Working out how to tackle the mobile black spot issue in Lyons was a really comprehensive process and complicated matrix but was so important to the community.

"In remote and regional areas mobile communication is essential – it’s a safety issue. When you fall off your motor bike out in the back paddock and you’re injured, it’s your mobile phone that you reach for to try and get help, not your NBN. This Federal Government subsidy has allowed the commercial carriers to reach into regional areas that they would not have otherwise been justified in going - and so much of this electorate falls into that category," Mr Hutchinson said.

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