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    Media Release,  04 September 2017

Residents and visitors to Flinders Island are one step closer to enjoying the latest technology as work gets underway to revolutionise telecommunications across the island.

The project is supported by a nearly $11 million investment joint co-funded between Telstra, Flinders Island Council, Tasmanian Government and the Federal Government.

In Launceston today, Telstra Chief Executive Officer Andy Penn said the project would modernise telecommunications across the island.

“When finished, this project will allow residents, tourists and businesses to do the things that the rest of us take for granted. Things like streaming HD video content, cloud computing and video chatting with friends and family will all become possible,” he said.

“This collaborative investment is a great example of what can be achieved when the corporate sector partners with all levels of government to deliver valuable infrastructure to remote and isolated communities of Australia.”   

The project will include:

  • An upgrade of transmission capacity between Launceston and Waterhouse (Tasmania).
  • A new generation microwave radio system between Waterhouse and Flinders Island.
  • A new 76 kilometre optical fibre link joining major population centres on Flinders Island.
  • Two new generation microwave radio systems on Flinders Island.
  • Upgrade four existing 3G mobile sites to superfast 4GX capability (Mt Tanner, Middle Patriarch, Hayes Hill, Vinegar Hill).
  • Construction of four new 3G/4GX mobile base stations (Killecrankie, Palana, Blue Rocks, Cape Barron) to extend the reach of our mobile network to more island residents.
  • A scalable network for other community communications services into the future, such as the local school, hospital, emergency services and Flinders Island Council.

“This is a once-in-a-generation network upgrade,” Mr Penn said.

“When finished customers will be able to achieve download speeds across fixed and mobile internet comparable to mainland regional areas.

“We are continuing to deliver for regional and remote Australia, through both our own investment and also collaborative investment opportunities like the Flinders Island project and the Mobile Black Spots Program.”

The beginning of work follows more than 12 months of negotiation between the local Telstra Tasmanian team and Flinders Island Council. Working collaboratively the Flinders Island Council submitted an infrastructure development plan to the Federal Government Building Better Regions Fund.

Mr Penn said equipment and infrastructure will shortly start heading to the island ready for works to commence in a few months.

“The project will deliver fast mobile broadband and reliable fixed line internet services and be completed in early 2019,” Mr Penn said.   

 

Media contact: James Kelly, 0455 079 295, media@team.telstra.com.

Reference: 099/2017.