Telstra ramps up black spot roll-out

COVERAGE: River Ranch is set to join Ubobo in benefiting from the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program.
COVERAGE: River Ranch is set to join Ubobo in benefiting from the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program.

TELSTRA is set to ramp up its roll-out of mobile base stations across rural and regional Australia under the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot program.

The 100th base station, at Culla in Victoria's Southern Grampians, was activated last Thursday - one of 577 due to be constructed under the first two rounds of the program.

A Telstra spokesperson said the company expected to have more than 200 sites online before the end of the year.

A base station at Ubobo in the Boyne Valley began operating late last year, while another at River Ranch north of Calliope is due to began construction in 2018.

Two further towers at Agnes Water and Deepwater are also expected to come online over the next two years.

"Telstra is a proud long-time member, service provider and employer in the Queensland community, and we know that increased coverage is the number one priority for people and businesses in regional Australia,” Telstra Area General Manager Rachel Cliffe said.

"Fast connectivity is becoming increasingly important for key regional sectors like agriculture, transport, mining and tourism and that's what the improved coverage delivers.”

Mobile black spot locations were nominated by residents, many of whom are regularly cut off from communications during natural disasters and floods.

The Central Queensland electorate of Flynn, which includes Gladstone, benefited from $7.65 million during the first round of funding under the program.

Successful locations were chosen based on criteria including the expected coverage the station would deliver, the number of premises in the area and the length of major transport routes being covered.

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