Telstra customers living or travelling through Paruna have been amongst the first South Australians to benefit from improved mobile coverage as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme.
Paruna, located 30 kilometres south of Loxton, is one of 429 mobile coverage black spots across regional Australia benefitting from expanded mobile coverage provided by Telstra under the three year programme.
Over 60 sites across Australia have already received new or upgraded mobile infrastructure, resulting in more than 20,000 square kilometres of improved coverage across regional and rural Australia.
Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, said the National Government’s commitment to improving the mobile coverage in regional Australia was to be applauded.
“This new base station in Paruna is one of the first round commitments from the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot program.
“The new base station will bring a much needed boost to mobile coverage in Paruna and surrounds, providing great benefit to emergency services, businesses, residents and tourists.”
“The active cooperation of mobile network operators such as Telstra in the Mobile Black Spot Programme have provided necessary celluar service to around 3,000 black spots nation-wide.
“Connectivity is necessary, especially in rural areas, and I commend this programme and this partnership with Telstra to bring mobile coverage to Paruna and surrounds.”
Telstra Area General Manager for South Australia, Mark Bolton, said the expansion of mobile coverage in the area was another example of Telstra’s ongoing commitment to regional and rural Australia.
“The growing use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets is changing the way we live and Telstra is acutely aware of the challenges facing communities living with limited access to a mobile network,” Mr Bolton said.
“While coverage levels can vary depending on the handset being used and the terrain, Telstra testing indicates the new Paruna mobile base station will provide approximately 568 square kilometres of additional handheld coverage for local residents, more if they are using an external antenna in their car or at their property.
“As a minimum, an additional 144 properties in the region should now be able to receive handheld mobile coverage, with potentially more if they have an external antenna attached.”
Over the next 12 months Telstra will also begin installing 26 Small Cells in South Australia to deliver high speed, localised 4G data services in small country towns, including Monash and Geranium.
“We are proud to be helping connect regional and rural communities,” said Mr Bolton.
“Expanding coverage ensures locals can keep in contact with family and friends and run their businesses more effectively, whether it’s chatting on the phone or using a range of online services.”
The Mobile Black Spot Programme involves investment of more than $340 million in regional and rural Australia, with $165 million from Telstra, $94.8 million from the Federal Government and tens of millions in targeted additional funding from State and Local Governments. Telstra will also continue to invest its own funds to expand mobile coverage in regional areas.
A second blackspot funded mobile tower in South Australia was constructed by Telstra and activated earlier this month on the Yorke Peninsula in Curramulka, providing handheld coverage for an additional 202 properties in the area.