A sum of $9.8 million will see Telstra build eight new mobile towers and upgrade two base stations to improve coverage to an expected 3,564 properties, while $2.5 million will upgrade the NBN technology in Lameroo and Pinnaroo. The mobile towers will target parts of the state well-known to locals for their poor mobile coverage, including Ceduna on the state’s west coast, Bowhill and Parilla in the Murray Mallee, and Wattle Range in the Limestone Coast region.
Living in a mobile black spot may be disastrous for those attempting to navigate an emergency scenario, but new mobile towers in remote South Australia may help to alleviate this. The project will be completed regardless of the outcome of the federal election. Locals claim that the existing mobile coverage is “inadequate.” As part of the Regional Connectivity Program, the federal government announced a number of mobile infrastructure projects around the state that will be co-funded with “a range of partners.”
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However, no new towers or upgrades have been listed for northern parts of the state. Regional South Australians say poor mobile coverage is dangerous in emergency situations.(ABC Rural: Joanna Prendergast) Tourism operator Phil van Wegen lives in Marree — more than 350 kilometres from the nearest new tower at Pekina — and said the current mobile coverage was inadequate and dangerous. “There’s no other way of wording it, it’s a complete and utter disgrace what’s been delivered out here,” he said.
Minister Bridget McKenzie says a coalition government will continue adressing Australia’s mobile blackspots.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore) Opposition telecommunications spokesperson Michelle Rowland said a Labor federal government would invest $400 million to improve internet and mobile coverage, including an independent audit of current services. Ms Rowland said Labor had also committed $30 million to help expand on-farm connectivity and enable better wireless extension solutions in the field. “This is really important for farmers to better utilise sensor and connected machinery technology,” she said.
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