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    Media Release,  08 June 2018

Torres Strait connected as Telstra completes landmark network project

Some of Australia’s most remote communities now have access to state of the art mobile and fixed line broadband services for the first time, with Telstra completing a landmark network infrastructure project to deliver improved services to the Torres Strait.

The project, delivered by Telstra together with the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), consisted of 12 separate projects on 10 of the Torres Strait Islands.

Telstra Area General Manager, Rachel Cliffe, said the year-long project was completed ahead of schedule last week.

“This has been about building digital bridges to these island communities, delivering them world class connectivity,” Ms Cliffe said.

“As well as being able to access faster fixed line broadband, make mobile calls and access fast wireless data, importantly this project opens up digital doors to better education, health and business opportunities to some of Australia’s most remote communities.

“We’re proud to be bringing our expertise to this project and extending our world class networks and services to communities in the Torres Strait. It’s an excellent example of what can be achieved by working together to deliver better outcomes for rural and regional Australia.”

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the completion of the Telstra network upgrade project was vital for the Torres Strait region, which has lacked the mobile coverage and internet most people in other parts of the country took for granted.

“Many people don't realise the effect slow or non-existent mobile and internet services can have on a community,” Mr Stephen said.

“This partnership with Telstra now delivers vastly improved telecommunications outcomes for the people of Torres Strait through the very latest in mobile and fixed line broadband internet services.

“Access to fast and reliable internet and mobile phones can determine the educational outcome of a student, or even be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

“This project is critical to bringing services to the Torres Strait that most of the country already rely on to perform many daily tasks, along with the added benefit to enhanced bio-security, agriculture, and marine safety and border protection measures.

“It is also an incredibly important upgrade for our business community, who will benefit from the improved connectivity.”

The project included:

  • New 3G and 4G mobile coverage at Kubin Village.

  • 4G coverage at Badu Island

  • Increased mobile capacity and speeds at Badu, Maer, Yorke, Moa and Yam Islands.

  • More ADSL ports at Horn Island

  • Radio link upgrades on multiple islands, which lay the foundation for future telecommunication improvements. 

Telstra and the TSRA area also working with the Federal and State Governments as well as the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to look at opportunities to further expand high-speed fixed and mobile communications infrastructure to more parts of the Torres Strait.

Completion of this initial phase comes as Thursday Island plays host this week to Telstra’s Regional Advisory Council - a meeting of regional minds to discuss ways to further improve communications and harness new technologies in regional and remote Australia.

“Telstra has a proud 100-year history of investing in rural and regional Australia and we remain committed to continuing to bridge the digital divide between the city and remote Australian communities,” Rachel said.

“To achieve all this, it’s important regional Queenslanders are heard and that’s what the Regional Advisory Council is about.”

 

Media contact: Ashley McDermid, Queensland Media Manager

Media number: 063/2018