Monday, 30 September 2019 13:23

Government, Telstra combine to improve mobile coverage on Tasmania’s west coast Featured

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Government, Telstra combine to improve mobile coverage on Tasmania’s west coast Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tasmania’s west coast region is set to get improved mobile coverage as part of a joint project development by the Federal Government with Telstra.

The development sees the Government contributing $790,000 towards the $5.2 million project aimed at increasing mobile network capacity throughout the West Coast of Tassie.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, Mark Coulton, and Member for Braddon, Gavin Pearce announced on Monday that the funding agreement has been executed and the project is now underway.

“This project will bring significant benefits to people living in regional communities on the Western Tasmanian Coast,” said Minister Fletcher.

“It includes a new mobile base station to Tullah and 4GX service upgrades to Rosebery, Queenstown, Savage River, Strahan, Zeehan and Waratah. This is great news as 4GX can go further than previous 4G frequencies, extending coverage for these communities.”

Telstra has commenced work on the project and expects to have the first 4GX upgrades coming online in about 12 months from now.

Minister Coulton said Telstra, the West Coast Council and Waratah-Wynyard Council had worked with the Federal Government to improve service for Tasmanians and visitors to the Apple Isle.

“This is a terrific example of government working in partnership with business and local councils to deliver much needed outcomes for communities.

“This investment will help bridge the digital divide in Tasmania, more than doubling the existing backhaul capacity to these towns to meet the current and future needs of the communities in the area.”

Gavin Pearce said the new mobile base station and upgraded services will deliver “much needed connectivity to Tasmanian families and small businesses operating in the area”.

“It will also provide significant benefits for the thousands of tourists who visit the region every year, including improved coverage for those driving the popular scenic route from Cradle Mountain to Strahan,” Pearce said.

Telstra’s Regional General Manager, Michael Patterson, said: “This huge investment will not only boost the capacity of our network to better serve communities on the west coast – it’ll also increase the resilience of our services by expanding the technologies we use.”

The project complements the Federal Government’s $18.5 million commitment to deliver fast broadband upgrades to the West Coast of Tasmania through a mix of NBN fixed line and fixed wireless technologies.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year 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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