20/02/2015 - 14:41

Regional WA to be better connected

20/02/2015 - 14:41

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Mobile phone and internet covering across regional Western Australia is set to get a boost with 22 sites prioritised for the construction of 85 mobile phone towers, through the state government’s $45 million regional telecommunications project.

Mobile phone and internet covering across regional Western Australia is set to get a boost with 22 sites prioritised for the construction of 85 mobile phone towers, through the state government’s $45 million regional telecommunications project.

Funded through the state government’s royalties for regions program, Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the project would provide 85 mobile towers across regional WA over the next four years to reduce gaps in mobile telephone and data coverage, particularly in small communities and at strategic locations in regional WA, and will also improve safety and emergency service capabilities.

“This builds on the success of the $40 million regional communications project, which was completed in September last year,” Mr Mischin said.

“The project, a partnership between the state government and Telstra, delivered 113 new and upgraded telecommunications towers that provide continuous in-car mobile coverage along major highways and at 15 communities in regional and remote areas.”

The initial 22 sites are Wongan Hills Town, Nyabing, Gracetown, Arrino, Ongerup North, Boorabbin, Tammin, Nilemah RT, Albany West, Bolgart, Cranbrook West, Wickepin, Peaceful Bay, Molloy Island, Salmon Gums, Grass Patch, Nyamup, Wilyabrup, Westonia, Muntadgin, Highbury and Yerecoin.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Gracetown would be one of the first sights to receive a mobile phone tower, expected to be completed in June this year.

“In the interim, Telstra will position a portable cellular system covering a portion of the town site and beach area,” Mr Redman said.

“Coverage will further improve once the new 60 metre tower is switched on.

“Telecommunications connectivity is vital to social and economic development in regional areas and this royalties for regions investment will further break down the digital divide between regional and urban WA.”

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