People travelling on the Pichi Richi Explorer will now have better phone service to make calls, browse the internet and stay connected with family and friends.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey with Telstra General Manager SA Mark Bolton officially launched the site today.
The new mobile base station which is now operating will significantly improve phone service through the Pichi Richi Pass and provide service at Woolshed Flat for the first time.
Mr Ramsey said he was pleased to see another of the region’s black spots receive mobile phonce reception.
“Our continued investment in mobile phone base stations is further proof of the Coalition’s commitment to connecting Australians, wherever they are,” he said. “This is the thirtieth site established in the Grey since we came to government and there are nineteen more in the pipeline and will be constructed over the next couple of years, and there is more to come.
“Successful sites under round 5a wil soon be announced and we have committed to a sixth round. It is an extraordinary turn-around form when we came to power as previously under Labor there was no program.”
Mr Ramsey said he and Mr Bolton were also officially launching Telstra’s Far North SA project which will receive more than $2.5m from the Regional Connectivity Program to provide improved broadband and 4G services between Hawker and Leigh Creek.
“The Leigh Creek and Marree Aboriginal Schools will benefit and enhance Telstra’s ability to grow the network in the area,” he said.
“The program will also help establish 4G small cells at Dalhousie Springs and in the remote APY communities of, Kenmore, Nyapari, Murputja, Kalka, Kanpi and Watinuma.
Mr Bolton said the Pichi Richi macro cell base station, jointly funded by Telstra and the State and Federal Governments under Round 4 of the Mobile Black Spot Program, will provide over 14 square kilometres of new 3G and 4G coverage along the Flinders Ranges Highway
“This is a section of road that had previously received no mobile coverage due to its challenging location nestled between two ridges,” he said.
“Under the Mobile Black Spot Program Telstra has already delivered more than 700 new base stations across Australia providing more than 194,000 square kilometres of new or improved coverage and once the latest round of the Mobile Black Spot Program is completed, Telstra will have invested up to $290 million of its own money and built more than 880 new sites nationwide to improve regional coverage.
“The Federal Regional Connectivity Program will make a significant difference to us being able to deliver services to significant number of small outback communituies.”
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said the switch on of the new mobile base station in Pichi Richi under the Mobile Black Spot Program reflects the Morrison-McCormack Government’s commitment to further improving connectivity in the regions.
“This significant investment as part of the Mobile Black Spot Program means that people living, working and travelling in Grey will now have better mobile coverage,” he said.
“While no telecommunications network is 100 per cent impervious to damage from natural disasters, Australians naturally want to be confident our communications networks are as resilient as possible. The Mobile Black Spot Program is an important part of this as it provides an alternative communications option if another network goes down during an emergency situation.
“The first five rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program are funding more than 1,200 mobile base stations around Australia, with more than 920 of these already on air and providing much needed mobile connectivity to rural and regional areas.”
More information about the program is available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp.
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 8633 1744
May 20 2021