31 May 2024

McBain pledges improved mobile phone access for southern NSW

| Sally Hopman
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Woman in red jacket

Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain has announced new funding to improve telephone access in rural and regional NSW. Photo: File.

Twelve mobile phone stations will be upgraded throughout southern NSW to reduce the risk of service outages during natural disasters.

Under the Federal Government’s Mobile Network Hardening Program, the resilience of mobile network telecommunications will be improved.

Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain, said people in her electorate knew that during disasters, conditions on the ground could change rapidly.

“This is why having access to reliable connectivity to receive emergency information and to keep in touch with family and friends is crucial,” she said.

She said the second round of the program provided $14.2 million for 386 projects across the country, with more than $2.2 million in NSW, including 12 projects in Eden-Monaro.

The locations include Adelong, Batlow, Rosewood, Tumbarumba in the Snowy region, Tumut, and in the Yass Valley, Mundoonen, Murrumbateman, Paynes Road near Bookham, Yellow Creek Road and the Yass interchange.

“Upgrades to these mobile base stations will keep them online for longer, and also mitigate the potential for single points of failure to cause wider network outages,” Ms McBain said.

READ ALSO Mobile phone pouches free up Yass High School students to connect in a different way

“I’m proud to be delivering this major investment in Eden Monaro’s telecommunications resilience that will see 12 mobile base stations upgraded – a great outcome for our community,” she said.

The program is part of the Federal Government’s $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia to improve mobile and broadband connectivity and resilience. It is designed to drive productivity, economic and social participation for rural, regional and First Nations communities and help narrow the digital divide.

Federal Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said the program has now funded more than 1,000 projects to strengthen telecommunications resilience.

“Upgrades across Eden-Monaro will support community safety by helping to mitigate the impacts of service outages during natural disasters, and throughout the response and recovery phase,” she said.

Ms Rowland said while no telecommunications network could ever be 100 per cent disaster-proof, this government project reduced the risk of communication outages during natural disasters.

A full list of projects is available online.

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