Workers use a cherry picker to work on a mobile phone communications tower near Gold Park, Friday, February 15, 2019.
Workers use a cherry picker to work on a mobile phone communications tower near Gold Park, Friday, February 15, 2019. Kevin Farmer

Mobile coverage to get big boost

FED up with mobile service dropping in and out, visitors and workers alike will be able to have their say on digital connectivity as Maranoa MP seeks to improve mobile black spots in the Balonne.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud said he would need community and local council involvement to nominate spots in their region where their mobile service failed, with round 5 of the Mobile Black Spot Program application process now open.

"Breaks in our communications hinder emergency services, tourism, and business,” Mr Littleproud said.

"That's why this program is so important for Maranoa, and why I've been advocating so hard on this issue.”

A frequent visitor to St George, Alana Dohle, said she constantly had issues with her phone while visiting family.

"The provider I am with doesn't have good coverage out here,” she said.

"So it doesn't matter whether I am in town or not, because usually I don't have service. I will usually switch out my normal SIM for a Telstra SIM card which I know gets service in town.”

Local IT technician Kyle McNamara said he too struggled with mobile connectivity, which sometimes interfered with his work.

"I have problems with my phone service all the time. My job requires me to need service, not only for my phone but computer and laptops too,” he said.

"If I get called to a job I usually use my phone quite a bit, whether that means Googling something or making phone calls. I need phone service to do my job, it's as simple as that.

"As you head out of town, it keeps dropping in and out... it's very frustrating to have it one minute and not the next.”

Mr Littleproud said having strong 4G signal will hand locals more choices in how they live their lives.

"It will give people greater opportunities to stay up to speed with education, businesses, news, loved ones and calling for help in an emergency,” he said.

"Funding for the Mobile Black Spot Program is now more than $760 million.”

Applications close July 26, at www.communications.

gov.au/mbsp


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