The LGAQ has welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s announcement to fund 68 new base stations in rural and regional Queensland which will improve mobile phone coverage on main highways, development roads and communities as part of its $100m mobile blackspot program.
LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam said many small communities, such as Adavale, Darnley Island, and Urandangi, as well as the travelling public and industry would benefit from the improved coverage.
“This is a great improvement for many small areas because of our reliance on mobile technology for voice and data uses,” Mr Hallam said.
Importantly, the Commonwealth has also announced that its will fund a new $60m Round 2 of the program allowing communities that missed out in Round One to have another chance. The funding will become available from July 2016.
Telstra will build 61 new or upgraded bases station while Vodafone will build seven new sites. In addition Telstra will also roll-out 50 mini base stations in areas where existing infrastructure can allow a low-cost solution.
There is also a possible strategic benefit as the additional mobile-phone coverage could provide an alternative access data services from satellite.
Mr Hallam said it’s a great funding outcome where Telstra and Vodafone invested almost $165m and $20m respectively and a total of $385m will be spent for 499 sites nationally.
“We also thank the Queensland Government for making a $10m contribution to the project, which means that a large number of these sites were only possible because of their support,” Mr Hallam said.
In addition to the State funding, about 12 Councils, industry and community groups contributed more than $800,000 to ensure their regions would benefit from additional coverage.
The Telstra base stations will use the latest 4GX technology which is in a low radio frequency (700Mhz) and provides significant data speeds, area coverage and building penetration.