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.
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.