Tuesday, 27 November 2018 12:21

Optus expanding NSW mobile black spot program to new areas Featured

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Australia’s second largest telco Optus is preparing to build 16 new mobile sites as part of the NSW Government’s mobile black spot program at a total cost of $12 million, with half of the funding provided by Optus itself and half by the State Government.

The 16 sites are spread across New South Wales and Optus says, in a real boost for residents and businesses in the Northern Rivers, nearly half of all new sites will be located within the region, including sites at Fernleigh, Goolmangar, Main Arm, Rock Valley, Rosebank and Stony Chute.

Optus, which will contribute $6 million with $6 million from the NSW Government, says the new sites will deliver much needed mobile coverage and connectivity to regional communities across the state.

“At Optus we want every Australian to have access to reliable mobile coverage and Programs like this from the NSW State Government play a critical role in making this possible. Our priority at Optus is to deliver our customers, across Australia, our best network coverage, value and experience and we are pleased to be a part of this Program which aims to expand mobile coverage in regional and remote NSW,” said Andrew Sheridan, vice-president, Regulatory and Public Affairs.

“There is a genuine need for improved telecommunications services across this key regional centre, especially given Northern Rivers’ popularity as a tourism hub. Only recently Optus announced that we would build five new sites in the Northern Rivers region and these NSW Government Mobile Black Spots will complement our existing plans, further bolstering coverage across the area.”

Optus says it has worked closely with the State Government to determine the best locations for the sites to ensure maximum coverage in each area.

The 16 sites secured by Optus will include Anembo, Bannaby Hill, Fernleigh, Glanmire, Goolmangar, Lowanna East, Main Arm, Majors Creek, Mount Bodangora, Mt Mary, Rick Valley, Rosebank, Rouchel Brook, Stony Chute, Sunnyside and Tanja.

“This is the first time that people in these areas will have dedicated mobile coverage. Access to voice and data coverage is critical, particularly in those regions with high agricultural or tourism-based economies,” Sheridan said.

“It’s great to see sites like Anembo, where we have met with the local community to address their coverage requirements, have been included as part of this round of funding. Now that we have been awarded these sites we look forward to working in partnership with the local communities to get these sites up and running.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the NSW Government was committed to boosting voice and data coverage across regional NSW.

“We know that in order to keep up you have to be connected and are working as fast as we can to cover the gaps in coverage across the state.

“Connectivity is at the heart of everything we do from running a business, getting produce from paddock to port or staying in touch with family.

“Expanding mobile coverage means there’s more areas where you can call Triple Zero if you need help and more areas where you will receive vital Emergency Alert information messages.

“The new sites announced today will benefit hundreds of residents as well as tourists and I am proud that this program is continuing to expand mobile coverage across regional NSW.

“Optus has already delivered six Mobile Black Spot sites across NSW as part of the Federal and State Government’s Program. Across Australia a total of 68 Optus co-funded Black Spot sites are already live, providing much needed coverage to communities in those areas.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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