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NBN finally steps in to save stranded estate

29 Mar 2017
NbnNews

NBN Co has stepped up with an emergency solution for a new housing estate where residents were left stranded without fixed or mobile communications but the experience has sparked a warning for others buying into new developments.

The experience highlights a major flaw in telecommunications policy, as residents are not entitled to claim compensation or alternative service from NBN Co like they would be entitled to if Telstra was still responsible for laying copper wires.

The residents of Belmond Estate in Melbourne's south east are stuck in an unusual position where they have no fixed telecommunications, scant mobile coverage, and even satellite phones are unreliable.

NBN Co was supposed to install fibre optic connections - which also provides voice calls - in late 2016, but has been delayed by roadworks. The residents also discovered they live in a mobile black spot, which means reception is unreliable and intermittent.

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

New Telstra tower to be built at Tower Hill

29 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

A NEW 55-metre telecommunications tower will be built at Tower Hill.

Telstra has been given the green light to construct the tower on land to the east of the iconic Tower Hill State Game Reserve. The new tower will join an existing tower, 190 metres to the south, which is owned by Broadcast Australia.

This tower houses radio, television, mobile phone and emergency services transmitting equipment and stands at 60-metres high.

The new tower was given the tick of approval by Moyne Shire councillors at their March meeting in Mortlake on Tuesday night.

Councillors voted 5-2 in favour of granting the planning permit. Moyne Shire planning staff had recommended councillors accept the application.

In speaking in favour of the application, Cr Colin Ryan pointed to the responsibility council had in ensuring the right infrastructure is in place.

“Moyne Shire’s planning scheme and state legislation both state requirements for the need for modern telco facilities to service the community,” Cr Ryan said.

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

Vodafone swipe at black spot warnings

24 Mar 2017
VodafoneNews

Vodafone Australia has pushed back against Telstra and Optus claims that domestic roaming would compromise the future of the federal government’s mobile black spots program.

With both telcos warning domestic roaming would force them to re-evaluate their continued participation, Vodafone said the program’s effectiveness had already been undermined by how hard Telstra made it for rivals to co-locate mobile equipment on their regional towers.

It’s understood that only 19 of the 429 sites Telstra picked up under the first round of the program include co-location.

“We do not believe co-location as a means to drive infrastructure competition in regional areas is working,” said Vodafone’s chief strategy officer and director of corporate affairs Dan Lloyd.

It’s a claim strenuously rejected by Telstra and Optus, with a Telstra spokeswoman telling The Australian that it has not put any obstacles in the way of any mobile network operator to co-locate on any black spot site.

“The mobile black spot program is guided by clear rules on co-location,’’ the spokeswoman said.

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

Turnbull government spruiks 765 new mobile towers

23 Mar 2017
InTheNews

The Turnbull government has sought to remind people of its commitment to delivering better mobile phone coverage to regional areas that have been plagued with black spot problems due to lack of mobile towers.

In an announcement from Minister for Regional Communications, Fiona Nash, attended the opening of Telstra’s 100th new tower under the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) last week in Culla, Victoria, and said the Coalition was delivering for rural, regional and remote Australia.

Ms Nash said the 765 new and improved mobile phone towers will deliver new or improved coverage to 32,000 homes and businesses across 86,000 square kilometres.

It’s an important step in regional development, as communities and councils have been persistently calling for more federal funding and intervention to help alleviate the problem of mobile black spots, which have the potential to leave people stranded or unable to contact emergency services.

The program also complements a finding from Universities Australia, which recently found that start-up businesses are finding fertile soil in the regions to develop themselves, which has also come as a result of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

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

City of Launceston approves Vodafone tower at Youngtown Memorial Park | Poll

23 Mar 2017
VodafoneNews

A development application for a telecommunications tower at Youngtown Memorial Park was approved by the City of Launceston at its Monday meeting.

A petition was put to the council in an effort to prevent the construction of the 25 metre high Vodaphone facility at the sports ground and community members who live in the surrounding area addressed the council with their concerns over health, amenity and consultation.

Medina Street resident Pamela Skeggs told the Aldermen the proposal was too close to existing driveways and the parking would prevent vehicle movements.

“The tower is located opposite the grandstand and highly visible from participants at any point of the stadium,” she said.

“It’s a great distress to me to find that something like this [could be built].”

Mrs Skeggs said young families lived in the vicinity and hundreds of young people and adults used the ground for sport and recreation.

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

Data Drought: Call for blackspot funding to continue

23 Mar 2017
InTheNews

MOBILE blackspot funding must be continued in this year’s federal budget and priority given to areas where there’s few other services, regional communities say.

And that program’s funding should be locked in for years to come, as part of the bid to decrease the divide between the “digital haves and digital have-nots”.

A delegation of 17 farming and regional community organisations — including the National Farmers’ Federation; Better Internet for Regional, Rural and Remote Australia; Victorian Farmers Federation; Grain Growers; and the Country Women’s Association — have spent the past two days in Canberra lobbying politicians from all sides to commit to ending the data drought.

NFF president Fiona Simson said continued funding for the mobile blackspot program — which has been funded for three rounds only — must be part of next month’s budget.

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

Apocalypse now: wifi and radiation sickness sweeping the world

23 Mar 2017
InTheNews

In 2006, two researchers, Hallberg and Oberfeld, published a terrifying forecast in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine asking “Will we all become electrosensitive?”.

The researchers extrapolated figures from 17 reports published in 1985-2004 from nine countries to estimate how many people by 2017 would be sensitive to electromagnetic radiation from common household appliances, including mobile phones, and environmental exposures like power lines, and TV, phone and radio transmission masts.

According to their calculations, by now, half the world’s population would be suffering from electrosensitivity. That’s around 3.75 billion people, surely the biggest plague ever to affect the world.

And if we continue their extrapolation for a few more years, the researchers will have answered their own original question.

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

Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann says farming held back by data drought

23 Mar 2017
InTheNews

GRAIN Producers Australia has backed a campaign by 17 rural and farmer representative groups to improve access to mobile reception and internet in regional areas.

The group wants new minimum service standards for voice and data; public funding to open up the rural mobile networks to their competitors’ customers; and better access satellite broadband.

Rupanyup farmer and Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann said he agreed with those goals.

“I’ve spent a lot of time at conferences speaking about the need for mobile phone coverage and the need for greater access to data,” he said.

“It’s holding investment back and stopping productivity gains. There needs to be coverage regardless of the telecommunications provider.

“Data exchange between equipment is the future of agriculture.”

The rural mobile group presented its goals to government and shadow ministers in Canberra on Monday.

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

Manilla, Dungowan and Walcha Road to receive Telstra upgrades

23 Mar 2017
TelstraNews

MANILLA locals may be without mobile service yet again as Telstra carries out upgrades.

Telstra will be installing new 4G infrastructure on the town’s mobile tower on Tuesday, although expect disruption to be minimal.

A spokesperson for Telstra said the “planned maintenance work is expected to cause just a short interruption to services”.

“The work will assist in providing long-term benefits for mobile services in the area and we apologise for any inconvenience,” the spokesperson said.

Locals have been plagued by mobile and internet issues over the last few months, with lightning strikes and other maintenance works causing a number of delays and outages.

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

Plans for two mobile phone towers on hold in Morisset as Telstra and Optus consider shared tower arrangement

23 Mar 2017
InTheNews

PROPOSALS for two mobile phone towers in Morisset have stalled as Telstra and Optus consider a request from Lake Macquarie City Council to explore operating from a single shared tower.

Last year, Optus submitted plans to erect a 35-metre mobile phone tower in Kalef Avenue, to boost mobile phone reception and data services in and around the Morisset industrial area.

Telstra later submitted plans for a 40-metre monopole in a corner of Morisset Showground, in Ourimbah Street.

In assessing the proposals, council has asked each proponent to consider a co-location arrangement.

The prospects for such an arrangement aren’t good.

A spokesperson for Optus told the council the telco had received some preliminary feedback “that the proposed Optus facility is not suitable for the Telstra network objectives”.

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

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