Home Mobility Victoria to fix mobile blackspots along rail lines

Victoria to fix mobile blackspots along rail lines

Victoria has announced it will fix mobile blackspots along the state's five busiest rail corridors in partnership with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

A statement said the Regional Rail Connectivity Project would cost $18 million and would cover the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon and Seymour rail lines. A total of 15.5 million trips are made every year on these lines.

Victoria will use in-train technology to boost mobile tower signals to those using their devices in the trains.

Mobile reception repeaters are already being fitted in VLocity and this is expected to increase in-train coverage from 50% to the maximum possible.

The construction of 35 mobile towers will commence after the pilot.

Passengers are expected to experience improved coverage from the end of 2017.

Victoria's Small Business, Innovation and Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis said: “This Australian-first project is a massive win for commuters on our five busiest regional rail corridors – no matter which network they use, they will see improvements.

“Regular commuters spend up to 20 hours per week on regional trains and we need to keep them connected so they can keep in touch with their loved ones and use their travel time productively."

Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said: “I know how frustrating it is when you can’t get signal from the train and you have work or homework to do, want to send a message to a loved one or check the footy score. That’s why we’re getting this fixed.”

And Transport Minister Jacinta Allan added: “This is another step in the better regional train system we’re building – connecting passengers across Victoria to work, education and each other.”

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.