July 12, 2017
A new mobile phone site to service the Kumbia area has been switched on by Vodafone Australia and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud.
The 35m tall NBN tower in Dennis Dugdell’s paddock just outside Kumbia now has Vodafone 4G receivers and transmitters co-located, thanks to the Federal Government’s $220 million “Mobile Black Spot Program”.
This will extend Vodafone’s voice and data coverage across an extra 220 sq km, including along the Bunya Highway, Kearneys Road and Kumbia-Brooklands Road.
Vodafone spokesman Paul Clark said the Black Spot program had also allowed Vodafone to build mobile phone sites at Cooyar and Boyneside.
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the Kumbia site was one of 35 funded by the Black Spot program in the Maranoa electorate.
“The building and strengthening of network connections through the Federal Government’s Mobile Phone Black Spot Program is crucial to Maranoa’s future prosperity,” Mr Littleproud said.
The new site will extend mobile coverage in Kumbia … but only for Vodafone customers, a consequence that Mr Littleproud has been campaigning against since before his election.
Mr Littleproud has been pushing for the introduction of mobile phone “roaming” which would allow customers to connect to towers outside their usual phone network, eg. a Vodafone customer connecting to a Telstra tower, or vice versa.
This would increase mobile phone coverage in remote and rural areas of Queensland.
However, in May the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a draft decision ruling out mobile phone roaming.
The Vodafone representatives at Kumbia on Tuesday supported the concept.
“It would be a great opportunity to give choice to rural and regional Australia,” Mr Clark said.
“And it would share infrastructure costs.”
Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash welcomed the activation of the 200th mobile base station delivered under the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“The Mobile Black Spot Program has already changed the lives of so many Australians living in rural and remote areas across the country. I congratulate Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for reaching this milestone so quickly,” Minister Nash said.
“The pace of the Mobile Black Spots rollout is accelerating towards the total of 765 base stations with 41 sites activated across the country in June alone.”
She said Rounds 1 and 2 of the program were delivering more than $600 million in new investment in mobile infrastructure across regional and remote Australia.