Barongarook’s call answered for Mobile Black Spot coverage

Media Release, 06 April 2017
Residents, businesses and visitors in Barongarook are benefitting from new and improved mobile coverage on Australia’s largest mobile network under the Mobile Black Spot Program.
The new base station here is one of 577 mobile base stations that Telstra is deploying to improve 3G/4G coverage in black spots across regional and rural as part of our commitment to the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Telstra Area General Manager Loretta Willaton said the expansion of mobile coverage in the area was another example of Telstra’s ongoing commitment to regional and rural Australia.
“This is a significant moment for our customers in Barongarook who have had their call answered for better mobile coverage,” Ms Willaton said.

“The growing use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets is changing the way we live and we are acutely aware of the challenges facing communities living with limited access to a mobile network.
“Expanding coverage to the region 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 over our fast mobile network.
“As the first carrier to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia, we know how important high-speed mobile can be to supporting local communities and businesses and we are excited to extend this even further to more Australians.
“Over the next two years, Telstra will be upgrading or building mobile base stations in black spots across regional Australia*, connecting them to our mobile network and significantly expanding mobile coverage.
“The Mobile Black Spot Program encourages operators to build mobile infrastructure in remote parts of Australia – infrastructure such as base stations and backhaul that all carriers can use to provide services to their customers if they choose to invest – and this is a great outcome for people living and working in these communities.
“Australia is big a country and we are proud to be part of this important initiative which is connecting so many more regional and rural communities.”
The switch-on of Barongarook follows Carlisle River with several other sites expected to be switched on in the coming months. These include Apollo Bay, Yeodene, Gellibrand, Kawarren and Barwon Downs.
Telstra’s rollout of the Mobile Black Spot Program involves co-investment of more than $486 million in regional and rural Australia, with $228 million from Telstra, $134 million from the Federal Government and tens of millions in additional funding from State and Local Governments. This investment builds on Telstra’s ongoing commitment to providing coverage to regional Australia. On average over the past 10 years, approximately 15 per cent of Telstra’s mobile network capital expenditure has been made in remote and very remote parts of Australia, where approximately two per cent of the nation’s population lives.

In addition to the new mobile base stations, Telstra is continuing to install up to 250 Small Cells** at Telstra’s sole expense to deliver high speed 4G data services in some small country towns where suitable Telstra infrastructure is available.
Media number: 157/2016.

*Rollout schedule to be determined in consultation with Federal and State Governments and subject to planning process.

**Location of Smalls Cells to be determined based on consultation with the Federal Government.