Optus steps up where Telstra is dragging the tower chain
FOLLOWING recent issues with Telstra failing to build mobile coverage towers in rural areas, the Victorian Government is partnering with Optus to build 25 new towers throughout regional Victoria.
Telecommunications infrastructure is crucial for the growth, liveability and safety of regional Victorian households and businesses, and more will be connected than ever before.
The funding comes as Victoria looks set to be shortchanged in the latest round of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) due largely to a severe lack of consultation.
A list of proposed sites released by the Federal Government indicates that just 19 of the 125 towers that will be funded under round three of the MBSP will be in Victoria.
Due to this neglect the government has sought out other opportunities to help connect regional Victoria.
“Those living in regional Victoria deserve better mobile coverage in their homes, workplaces and while they travel, and we thank Optus for helping us get on with the job of delivering it,” Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis said.
“We’ve invested almost $31 million in new mobile towers across Victoria, connecting 20,000 premises that previously had poor or no mobile coverage.”
Locations of mobile towers co-funded by the Victorian Government and Optus include: 1 x Ararat – Pomonal; 2 x Baw Baw – Thorpdale and Willow Grove; 3 x Campaspe – Girgarre, Nanneella and Wharpilla; 1 x Cardinia – Maryknoll; 1 x Colac-Otway – Kennett River; 1 x Corangamite – Port Campbell North; 3 x Golden Plains – Teesdale, Cape Clear and Haddon North; 1 x Horsham – Lower Norton; 1 x Indigo – Yackandandah North; 2 x Macedon Ranges – Edgecombe and Monegeetta; 3 x Mornington Peninsula – Tuerong, Tuerong West and Main Ridge West; 3 x Moyne – Winslow, Woolsthorpe and Hawkesdale; 1 x South Gippsland – Leongatha South; 1 x Yarra Ranges – Badger Creek; 1 x Yarriambiack – Brim. While all of these towers are being erected throughout Victoria, Mansfield district’s mobile coverage remains patchy.
Despite Telstra’s promise to have mobile coverage at Sawmill Settlement, Tolmie, Goughs Bay, Ancona and Woods Point by Christmas, construction has not started.
Residents of these areas are worried about the upcoming bushfire season, which looks set to be a bad one.
With no mobile coverage in these areas, the bushfire threat is more dangerous.
* Mansfield and district citizens hope Telstra can get their act together before disaster strikes.
IMPROVING THE EXPERIENCE: President of Mansfield Bowls Club, John Foots, stands in front of the shelter which will be upgraded, thanks to a government grant.