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Telstra confirms it won't fix vital mobile tower

29 Jan 2017
TelstraNews

Well-known local, John Morse AM, has lashed out at Telstra after he received confirmation that the telecommunications company will not upgrade a Shire mobile tower.

Mr Morse said that “lives are being put at risk in the Bellingen, Thora and Dorrigo areas” and that Telstra has “abandoned residents” – meaning this will have an impact on property values and small business viability.

“The Telstra tower on Dorrigo Mountain Top Road has been faulty for nearly a year,” Mr Morse said.

”3G voice and data are highly unreliable – either unusably slow or non existent – there was a five day outage in January.

“Telstra advised me in writing ‘we have been advised that there is a massive network fault and there is no current plan for tower upgrade’.

“Thora is on the Waterfall Way –  a notorious traffic blackspot and the area was recently ravaged by bushfires closing this vital link between Armidale and Coffs Harbour and threatening lives and property.

“Good mobile coverage is also an aspect of the value and sale of real estate in the area. There is no ADSL or NBN Fixed Wireless available to most residents in the area and SkyMuster is reportedly problematic and an unviable solution.”

To continue reading the article: click here. (bellingencourier.com.au)

Red WiFi warns big telco threat may affect families in rural Queensland

28 Jan 2017
InTheNews

A small internet provider helping to end the data drought in regional southern Queensland says it could soon be outbid by larger internet companies on digital spectrum access, thanks to a review by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Toowoomba-based company Red WiFi has been using elevated positions on silos, water tanks and sheds to install dishes that stream wireless internet across rural communities, offering unlimited data to hundreds of families.

But the ACMA could soon change conditions of access to certain frequencies in response to international development and strong interest from major mobile carriers and NBN Co.

Director Ken Woodward said Red WiFi would not be able to compete with the major telecommunication companies for the spectrum.

Mr Woodward said the major companies would not provide the same level of service to rural areas.

He said many homes around towns such as Dalby and Goondiwindi only had access to 3 and 4G mobile broadband, which was unreliable and comes at a high cost.

To continue reading the article: click here. (abc.net.au)

Could this be the end of dreaded blackspots?

28 Jan 2017
OptusNews

OPTUS customers from this week are able to defeat network black spots by using wi-fi networks to make mobile phone calls and send text messages.

Optus spokesman Ben White said the voice over wi-fi system would be particularly helpful for people who lived in a blackspot area or had a room in their house that did not have good mobile coverage.

Mr White said this system was Optus's "cleanest” move yet in offering voice-over wi-fi services and unlike the Optus Wi-Fi Talk app, the system would automatically switch between using mobile and wi-fi networks

Because the system works with both public and private wi-fi networks in Australia, Optus customers travelling around the country will now be able to make calls on their phones even in towns without network coverage as long as they are connected to a wi-fi network.

The Wi-Fi Calling service will initially be available to Optus customers using the latest software on Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones.

To continue reading the article: click here. (coffscoastadvocate.com.au)

Within 800m of fibre? Satellite for you!

26 Jan 2017
OzTowers

This has to be the most ludicrous example of NBN I've seen so far and its happening at the end of my street. Thankfully I'm getting fixed wireless but I feel for those down the other end who are within 800m of fibre but are slated for satellite. Talking to one who lives in one of these houses, she said she would pass on the "Good news" to the children whilst also reflecting that they would now likely be "moving out".

These houses are also within 1km of a Vodafone tower, so explaining that their mobile is going to give them a far better browsing experience than their home connection was also painful to explain. Satellite should be reserved for those who are truly remote, Period! I see "Class A" written on the cover, what then are those houses? Class F?

The fixed wireless tower I'm supposably getting hasn’t been built yet so I guess that’s probably 3 years away, but I have a funny feeling that in 3 years’ time when I'm able to connect, they will end up pointing it to another tower which has already been active for some time. Oh, the joys. The lack of internet in my area is the main reason this site exists today.

Optus launches native Wi-Fi calling service

26 Jan 2017
OptusNews

Optus is giving Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge users the ability to stay connected in areas with poor mobile coverage, with the launch of a native “voice over Wi-Fi” service.

The offering will allow Optus customers to make and receive calls, SMS and MMS as long as an accessible Wi-Fi service, such as home or public Wi-Fi, is available.

According to the telco, the Wi-Fi calling (VoWI-FI) service differs from its Wi-Fi Talk, app based solution that customers download to their device to make and receive calls and SMS over Wi-Fi.

Optus Networks acting managing director Dennis Wong said that the latest service is designed to leverage the growing ubiquity of Wi-Fi networks.

“Wi-Fi Calling allows customers to stay connected if mobile coverage is limited when they are out-and-about, at home or in the office but have access to a Wi-Fi connection,” Mr Wong said.

To continue reading the article: click here. (theaustralian.com.au)

$2.5m Optus tower plan

26 Jan 2017
OptusNews

MOBILE phone coverage across Wangaratta is set to be improved with Optus announcing it is committing $2.5 million to building more towers.

Optus announced yesterday it had invested $1 million as part of the first stage of works, switching on a new tower in Billabong Drive in Wangaratta South, with a second to be completed in the CBD at the corner of Docker and Norton streets in around two months.

Planning has also started on a $1.5 million project to build three new towers for Barr Reserve, Wangandary Central and Bowser, which the organisation said would add capacity and improve coverage along the Hume Highway and the North East railway line.

To continue reading the article: click here. (wangarattachronicle.com.au)

Geelong council approves mobile phone tower at Leopold

26 Jan 2017
InTheNews

PLANS for a new phone tower in Leopold have been given the green light by the council despite residents’ attempts to protect their bay views.

Industry giants Optus and Vodafone had a combined application approved last Thursday night for a 33m-tall structure to be built at 2-130 Alexander Ave, following a seven-month process in which 11 objections were submitted.

City of Greater Geelong Planning and Development general manager Peter Bettess tried to allay concerns regarding its visual impact and said the facility met Australian emissions standards.

“The telecommunications facility will be painted light grey to minimise the visibility,” he said. “The telecommunications provider has explored all alternative locations, however there was no other suitable site.”

Plans for the phone tower were first submitted in May last year, but proponents amended the original multi-panel peak to a slightly taller, thinner spire shape in December following the objections by residents.

To continue reading the article: click here. (geelongadvertiser.com.au)

Moyne Shire defers tower decision

26 Jan 2017
TelstraNews

MOYNE Shire councillors have put a proposed new telecommunications tower at Tower Hill on hold. 

At their January meeting in Mortlake this week, councillors voted to defer a decision on whether to grant Telstra a permit to construct the new tower.

Telstra’s failure to attend a meeting on the site on January 17 with councillors and concerned residents was behind the deferral, they said. 

Telstra is seeking planning approval for the 55-metre development, 190 metres north-west of an existing 60-metre high tower. 

Cr Colin Ryan said Telstra’s public consultation on this matter has been virtually non-existent while Cr Dan Meade said it was disappointing Telstra had not turned up at the site meeting.

In the lead-up to the meeting, Illowa resident Peter Swainger said there was no consultation with Telstra.  

To continue reading the article: click here. (standard.net.au)

Piccolo hits out at phone tower snub

24 Jan 2017
InTheNews

The Federal Liberal government has “dudded” rural communities within the Light Electorate by not providing funding for mobile tower stations in Wasleys and surrounding districts.

Following the devastating November 25 2015 Pinery Fires, Light MP Tony Piccolo lobbied the State Government to provide a financial contribution to help secure a commitment from the Federal Liberal Government better mobile voice and wireless broadband coverage in rural and regional communities.

Mr Piccolo said the South Australian government committed to contributing $2 million to the second round of the Mobile Black Spot Programme.

The Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme provides funding to Mobile Network Operators to build new mobile base stations in regional locations, with $60m allocated nationally for round two.

Under the program, the tele giants including Telstra and Optus submit applications directly to the Federal Government for funding to build new base stations.

To continue reading the article: click here. (barossaherald.com.au)

Cities win out in mobile connectivity

24 Jan 2017
OptusNews

Wangaratta residents are set to enjoy a boost in mobile phone coverage with works under way to build five new towers, as outlying areas of the North East continue to be beset with connection problems.

Optus announced on Tuesday it had completed the first stage of a $2.5 million project to improve 3G and 4G services in the city, with one tower at Wangaratta South already completed and another in the CBD due to be online within months. 

A spokeswoman for Optus said the works were fully funded by the telco and not covered under the second round of the Coalition's blackspots program.

When asked why Wangaratta was chosen over other areas in the North East plagued by connectivity issues, she said the decision had been made after increased feedback from customers about the network.

Optus state manager Peter Kirk hoped the investment would improve network coverage for residents and small business operators.

To continue reading the article: click here. (bordermail.com.au)

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