People living and travelling between Wodonga and Beechworth now have better phone service to make calls, browse the internet and stay connected with family and friends.
Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said a new macro base station switched on this month will significantly improve phone service along the Beechworth-Wodonga Road black spot zone and surrounding area.
“Reliable mobile phone coverage is a major concern for people across Indi, with our rugged terrain providing many challenges to improving service. I’m pleased to be part of a Government that is listening and delivering,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The new macro base station was jointly funded by the Federal Government, Optus and the Victorian State Government under Round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“It is expected to provide new and improved 3G and 4G mobile coverage to the Beechworth-Wodonga Road black spot and surrounding area.
“This will add more than 30 square kilometres of handheld coverage in the area.
“The Nationals’ are determined to ensure the government pushes on with this program which is of vital importance for people living and working in rural and regional Australia.
“Our continued investment in mobile phone base stations is further proof of the Coalition’s commitment to connecting Australians, wherever they are, particularly in regional areas like Leneva, Baranduda and Yackandandah.”
Minister for Regional Communications, Regional Health and Local Government, Nationals Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, said The Nationals in Government are committed to improving connectivity for people living in regional and rural areas.
“The improved service is thanks to the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program, which is eradicating phone black spots across Indi,” Minister Coulton said.
“This government knows how frustrating it is to be talking on the phone or browsing the internet and then lose service, so we’re getting on with the job of building more phone towers to deliver better service.
“Not only will these towers make it easier for people to stay connected to family and friends, it will also make it easier to do business and access education.”
Minister Coulton said more than 35,000 Triple 0 calls have so far been made possible through the Mobile Black Spot Program.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the switch on of the new mobile base station in Baranduda under the Mobile Black Spot Program reflected the 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 Victoria’s North East will now have better mobile coverage. This is especially important following this summer’s devastating bushfires,” Minister Fletcher 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 four rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program are funding more than 1,047 mobile base stations around Australia with more than 780 already providing much needed mobile connectivity to rural and regional areas.”
An additional $160 million in new funding for rounds five and six of the program was announced in 2019 to continue to improve phone service for people in Australia’s regions.
More information about the program is available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp.