Home Telecoms & NBN Telstra: mobile black spot announcement justifies no roaming decision

Telstra’s rollout of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program is ramping up further and the carrier is using its announcement to justify the recent ACCC draft decision not to declare mobile roaming.

According to Telstra, 148 new mobile base stations allocated under round two of the project have now been added to its rollout schedule.

The announcement comes amid the furore of the recent ACCC draft decision not to declare domestic mobile roaming which has prompted a court challenge from Vodafone Hutchison Australia and attracted criticism from much of the telco sector.

Telstra says the addition of the round two locations to the rollout schedule brings the carrier’s total number of new sites under the program to 577, “generating $490 million worth of co-investment in rural and regional Australia.”

Telstra Group managing director, Networks, Mike Wright, said providing state of the art telecommunication services to more parts of regional Australia was a key priority for Telstra.

“We know that increased mobile coverage is important for people in rural and regional Australia and we have a strong commitment and a clear plan to deliver that for them,” he said.

“Under the Mobile Black Spot Program, we are activating a new mobile base station every two days on average since we launched our 100th site earlier this year, and our rollout ramps up even further with the addition of these 148 sites.

“Significant work is already occurring behind the scenes, including design planning, community consultations, the formulation and development of planning applications and working with local councils to get the best outcome for everybody.

“We worked closely with the federal and contributing state governments to develop the schedule and we look forward to delivering state of the art mobile services to even more communities soon.”

The additional 148 mobile base station sites have been added to Telstra’s Mobile Black Spot Site Locator – a comprehensive but simple tool that lets people search for mobile base stations being rolled out in their area and provides information about expected timing.

Wright said the growing number of communities that are benefitting from improved coverage under the MBSP demonstrated that the current regulatory settings, combined with public and private co-investment, was the most effective way to continue to expand mobile coverage in the bush.

“The ACCC’s recent draft decision not to impose regulated mobile roaming clearly recognised the overwhelming call from stakeholders and communities in regional Australia to maintain regulatory settings that encourage investment in more coverage and technology upgrades,” he said.

“Last year Telstra committed to keep investing to improve and expand our mobile network in regional, rural and remote areas. Through our own direct investment, as well as co-investment, we expect to see up to $1 billion of investment flow to small towns and regional centres across the country over the next five years.”

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

 

 

 

 

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