Optus to solve blackspot issues with new mobile sites

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Optus customers in some regional parts of the country are set for a signal boost, with the telco committing to fix a dozen mobile blackspots in areas that receive poor coverage.

As part of the Australian Government Mobile Black Spot Program, Optus has secured funding to build 12 new mobile sites designated as a ‘priority’ under the program.

The 12 sites are located across New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. The fix is reported to cost $7.8 million in total, with $5.5 million in Federal funding and the rest from Optus.

Optus VP of Regulatory and Public Affairs, Andrew Sheridan, claimed this is just part of the telco’s wider plan to build out its coverage.

“Enabling mobile coverage in regional Australia is a key priority for us and we are proud to be working in partnership with the Federal Government to make this happen. In 12 months we have delivered more than 350 new sites across regional Australia with ambitious plans for the next 12 months already in place,” Mr Sheridan said.

In addition to the 12 sites mentioned, Optus is rolling out 114 additional sites in the second round of the Program. 38 Black Spot sites are already live.

Canstar Blue revealed that among the three networks – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – there were more than 50 blackspots in Queensland, 50 in NSW and 10 in Tasmania.

Mr Sheridan said: “These are all areas in need of improved mobile coverage. For us, this is about more than mobile coverage, it’s about giving Australians in rural areas the coverage that they need to stay connected with their family and friends and deliver for their business.”

What blackspots are getting fixed?

Blackspots addressed in the priority round of the program include:

  • Fullerton Cove and Mount Seaview, NSW
  • Alva Beach, Cedar Creek, Donnybrook, Moreton Island and Russell Island, QLD
  • Beechford/Lefroy, Lachlan, Murdunna, Wilmot and Yolla, TAS

In addition to the blackspot site builds, the sites will also be fitted with battery back-up capability, which aims to mitigate service lost during power outages. The back-ups are reported to last up to 12 hours.

Minister for Regional Communications, Bridget McKenzie, said these site builds were a welcome boost to regional areas.

“I am pleased to see that Optus recognises the coverage problems many of these communities face, and that it is moving to address the issues,” she said.

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