Residents in mobile phone black spots throughout NSW should soon have a faster and more reliable wireless broadband internet service.
As part of the NSW Government’s pre-election commitment, 21 new mobile phone towers will be delivered to regional communities courtesy of the $50 million Connecting Country Communities Fund.
The funding program began in 2015 as a way to improve communications infrastructure in the bush.
Almost half of the areas to receive new towers are within the NSW Monaro electorate of local member John Barilaro, including Bungendore, Carwoola, Michelago and Royalla, while a number of other sites sit just outside the electorate.
Other areas include Collector, Googong, Gundaroo, Gunning, Murrumbateman, Tarago and Wallaroo.
Speaking as the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Mr Barilaro said 21 new mobile phone towers will be delivered in partnership with Optus and Telstra, and the wireless broadband service will be delivered by rural communications carrier Yless4U.
“This funding will contribute to a significant improvement in internet connectivity speeds that will reach more than double current speeds by September 2021, and further improve by May 2025,” said Mr Barilaro.
“This will improve safety, boost opportunities for businesses, increase community access to services, connect family and friends, and ensure younger residents can access the online educational resources they need.
“The $50 million Connecting Country Communities Fund complements the NSW Government’s election commitment of $400 million through the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund to address mobile black spots and internet connectivity in regional NSW.”
This follows the announcement of three new stations at Namadgi National Park in the ACT, at Corin Forest Mountain Resort (Optus), Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (Optus) and Top Naas (Telstra), bringing mobile phone coverage to the most frequented parts of the park.
They are part of a rollout of 182 stations across the country and will bring safety benefits for park users and rural landholders, as well as emergency services, especially during bushfire seasons.
The announcement of successful locations under the Mobile Black Spot Program has helped deliver more than 800 mobile base stations across Australia.
NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the funding, which is being delivered in partnership between the Department of Regional New South Wales and the NSW Telco Authority, is a big win for regional NSW and will help strengthen communities.
“This funding will enhance existing assets including towers, land, fibre and backhaul, as well as building new infrastructure to enable communities to be better connected,” said Mr Dominello.
“Now more than ever, access to a strong mobile phone service and faster and more reliable internet is as important as road, rail and electricity infrastructure.”