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Remote Torres Strait island hooked up as Telstra flicks switch on 450th Mobile Black Spot tower

Mobile coverage has reached what Telstra classed as arguably Australia’s most remote mobile black spot, with Telstra activating its 450th mobile base station under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program a Erub (Darnley) Island in the Torres Strait.

The island is about 180 kilometres from the tip of the mainland, more than 2,000km from Brisbane and is home to some 300 people.

Telstra Area GM Rachel Cliffe said a new mobile base station to tackle a notorious black spot in the area was one of more than 650 sites being delivered by the telco nationwide under the Black Spot Program. “This is an important moment for the Erub community who can now make and receive mobile calls and access high speed mobile broadband through Telstra’s 3G and 4GX services,” she said.

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“Mobile connectivity plays a major role in connecting friends and families, businesses,and essential services across Australia and around the world,” Cliffe continued.

“The remoteness of the site made delivering coverage to the community equally challenging and rewarding. Crews and equipment had to be either flown in or arrive by boat, whilst battling monsoonal rain, but the state of the art connectivity that is now being delivered to the island is bringing many benefits.

“As well as being able to make calls and access fast wireless data, this project importantly opens up digital doors to education, health and business opportunities to benefit some of Australia’s most remote communities,” Cliffe said, adding that Telstra’s rollout of the Mobile Black Spot Program was continuing at pace.

“As well as delivering immediate benefits to the community, these new mobile base stations readies these regions for future rollouts of new technologies, such as 5G,” she said. “Telstra has invested more in building and operating networks in regional and rural communities than any other provider and we offer more mobile coverage in more parts of Australia.”

Construction of the Darnley Island mobile base station involved co-investment between Telstra, the Federal and Queensland Governments and Torres Strait Island Regional Council.

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Regional Communications Minister Bridget McKenzie said hundreds of communities were already seeing the benefits of improved mobile coverage that otherwise may not have reached them, thanks to the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“The Coalition Government has invested heavily in the Mobile Black Spot Program to ensure that regional Australians have access to 21st century communication technology,” Minister McKenzie said.

“We are now well past the halfway mark for rounds 1 and 2 of the program and the rollout of round 3 has just commenced with all 125 priority round black spot locations across the country to receive improved mobile coverage. I look forward to seeing more people in the regions getting better mobile coverage to help them to stay connected, access education and do business.”

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