By Chrissy Arthur
The Federal Government says the first of the new or upgraded mobile phone base stations across regional Queensland will be rolled out in the coming months.
Almost 500 will be established under the first round of the Government’s $100 million mobile phone blackspot program.
There will be 68 base stations included in the rollout in Queensland, 16 of those in the Maranoa electorate, including Crows Nest and Cooyar and 10 in the Mount Isa state electorate.
Locations include Yaraka and in the Eulo, Adavale and Jackson areas, also between Blackall and Tambo and Winton and Cloncurry, as well as at McKinlay, Gregory and on the Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Camooweal.
MP Bruce Scott said there would also be another round for more locations but these first improvements would make a huge difference in remote areas,
“These will be 4G bay stations and the extension of that means they will be able to be used for internet as well,” he said.
“It’s not just for people who live in the area, it is for the many thousands of tourists who are an important part of our economy.
“People come into the area, they want to be able to use their mobile phone and this is going to be a terrific boon for those communities that didn’t have access to mobile telephony in the past.”
Mr Scott said it equated to a $2.67 million investment to improve local mobile phone coverage, road safety and productivity across scores of identified blackspots.
He said the first base stations would begin to roll out in the second half of the year, with the full rollout to continue over a three-year period.
“The Cunnamulla to Thargomindah road, there is one at Eulo, there’s one at Cooladdi-Cheepie, there’s another going at Adavale, there’s one going to Yaraka and Mount Slocombe,” he said.
“There will be another one between Blackall and Tambo filling in a blackspot there, there is one at Alpha, one north-west of Winton, one at McKinlay and Urandangi – there are a number of them.”
MP Rob Katter said too many remote areas had been without adequate coverage for too long and the new funding was welcome.
“There are still some big problems in telecommunications, download speeds and capacities,” he said.
“While this is a good thing to have, we constantly have to keep working in this space because telecommunications just means so much to people’s businesses and people living in the outback now.
“There is still a lot of work to be done but we have to count our blessings and be very grateful to the Federal Government for this movement.”
Topics: mobile-phones, information-and-communication, programs-and-initiatives, federal-government, qld, toowoomba-4350, mount-isa-4825, crows-nest-4355, yaraka-4702, eulo-4491, longreach-4730
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