NBN drives relaxation of 'low-impact' antenna laws
The government has quietly proposed the biggest shake-up of rules for mobile phone antenna installation in 20 years, with NBN Co behind several of the proposed changes.
The Communications department late Friday laid out a large number of proposed changes to what is classified as a “low-impact facility” under telecommunications law.
These are rules relied on by telcos to bypass state and local planning laws, mostly to deploy new mobile antennas.
They are already contentious and often criticised by residents groups as a way to deploy mobile infrastructure without consulting local communities.
The government is now proposing a major shake-up that would expand the type of antennas and poles that can be installed under low-impact rules, at the behest of NBN Co.
Other changes would allow larger diameter dishes to be deployed, as well as tower height extensions in commercially zoned areas for the first time.
To continue reading the article: click here. (itnews.com.au)
Mobile Black Spots Round Two
Mundulla coverage is on the way as schedules are finalised for the mobile tower that will be delivered by October 2018.
Minister for Regional Communications and Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash has welcomed the release of indicative rollout schedules for all mobile towers being delivered under Round 2 of the Coalition Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program.
Mundulla’s tower will be covered by Telstra which along with Optus and Vodafone has now released indicative rollout schedules on it’s website.
The 266 Round 2 base stations have been contracted under agreements signed with the Australian Government through the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spots Program and all are expected to be delivered by October 2018.
“Australians can now check online to get an indication of when their new local phone tower from Rounds 1 and 2 of the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spots Program is expected to be up and running,” Minister Nash said.
“I do remind residents, and journalists, that these rollout schedules are meant as an indication and could be subject to some change.
To continue reading the article: click here. (borderchronicle.com.au)
Telstra: mobile black spot announcement justifies no roaming decision
Telstra’s rollout of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program is ramping up further and the carrier is using its announcement to justify the recent ACCC draft decision not to declare mobile roaming.
According to Telstra, 148 new mobile base stations allocated under round two of the project have now been added to its rollout schedule.
The announcement comes amid the furore of the recent ACCC draft decision not to declare domestic mobile roaming which has prompted a court challenge from Vodafone Hutchison Australia and attracted criticism from much of the telco sector.
Telstra says the addition of the round two locations to the rollout schedule brings the carrier’s total number of new sites under the program to 577, “generating $490 million worth of co-investment in rural and regional Australia.”
Telstra Group managing director, Networks, Mike Wright, said providing state of the art telecommunication services to more parts of regional Australia was a key priority for Telstra.
“We know that increased mobile coverage is important for people in rural and regional Australia and we have a strong commitment and a clear plan to deliver that for them,” he said.
To continue reading the article: click here. (itwire.com)
Improved mobile coverage for CH
COMET and Capella will benefit from improved mobile phone coverage with 4G small cells to be installed over the next year.
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch announced 39 locations across regional communities in Queensland earlier this month.
A small cell is a miniature version of a standard mobile base station. Each small cell will provide extra 4G mobile connectivity over a coverage footprint of approximately 200 to 300 metres.
The 4G small cells are in addition to 144 mobile base stations secured under the state's $24 million co-investment in the Australian Government's Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP), which have a coverage radius of 1-2 km or more. Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes said six sites in the Central Highlands had been approved under the MBSP program so far.
These sites are Takarakka Bush Camp, Carnarvon Wilderness Lodge, Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Centre, Fork Lagoons, Dingo and Bogantungan/Willows.
Fork Lagoons was completed in February 2017, while the remaining sites are expected to be on air by the end of the year.
To continue reading the article: click here. (cqnews.com.au)
Telcos get set for round two of the mobile black spot program
The rollout of 266 new base stations is expected to be complete by October next year
Round two of the mobile black spot rollout will soon be in motion, with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all releasing indicative rollout schedules for the coming year.
All 266 round two base stations, contracted under agreements signed with the Australian Government through the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Program, are expected to be delivered by October 2018.
Minister for regional communications, Fiona Nash, has welcomed the release of indicative rollout schedules for mobile towers being delivered under this second phase of the Coalition Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program.
Nash also mentioned that a further $60 million has been committed to target specific priority locations which had not received a bid for a tower from a telecommunications company in the first two rounds, with a competitive process to allocate the funding expected to commence later this year.
“Australians can now check online to get an indication of when their new local phone tower from rounds one and two of the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Program is expected to be up and running,” Nash said.
To continue reading the article: click here. (arnnet.com.au)
REROC double checking where the Riverina's mobile phone blackspots are
Riverina farmers have welcomed moves to pressure governments and businesses into fixing mobile phone “blackspots”.
Gordon Hall said he barely got any coverage around his property near Ardlethan, despite promises something would be done about it.
“We’ve gone backwards in the past 15 years while the rest of the world has gone forwards,” Mr Hall said.
“Coverage is so essential, but the cities get all the attention while the need for phone services is greater out here.”
The Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) has begun checking phone companies’ mobile phone coverage maps, in order to secure more blackspot funding from the federal government.
The idea is to present “real-world” data to local members who can then use it to argue for more funding under the federal government’s Mobile Blackspot Program.
“We want to work out where the actual blackspots are in our region,” REROC chief Julie Briggs said.
To continue reading the article: click here. (irrigator.com.au)
Vodafone aims to fix ACCC blunder
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is to seek judicial review of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) draft decision to not declare a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service.
The ACCC’s draft decision to cave in to pressure from the government, Telstra, Optus and mis-informed local government and community groups has set the scene for the Federal Court to find the underlying rationale for the decision.
In a blog post VHA Chief Strategy Officer Dan Lloyd said “many people living in regional and rural areas currently have no choice about which mobile provider they use and that they are forced to pay more than they should for their service.”
The Federal Court action should provide an opportunity for the ACCC’s decision making process to be scrutinised and for the process that led to the decision to be made public.
The ACCC’s draft report is a mish-mash of contradictory statements, much of which supports a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service.
To continue reading the article: click here. (innovationaus.com)
Appeal against mobile coverage decision welcomed by farming body worried about access to telecommunications
The state’s farming representative body has welcomed service provider Vodafone’s appeal against a decision it says will lead to poorer mobile phone services in rural areas.
Vodafone has filed for a judicial review of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into the possibility of a wholesale domestic roaming service, saying the process failed consumers.
Last month, the ACCC announced a draft decision that it would not declare a wholesale domestic roaming service, which would have given Telstra’s competitors access to its network at regulated prices.
Victorian Farmers Federation vice president Brett Hosking said the “digital divide” between residents of cities and rural areas would widen if domestic mobile roaming was refused.
“If there isn’t any real competition for service, our rural and regional communities will suffer because the choice will be limited to one provider – Telstra – and without any challenge to Telstra’s market dominance, we will keep paying higher prices for a poor service,” Mr Hosking said.
To continue reading the article: click here. (bendigoadvertiser.com.au)
Blackspot sending Boreen Pt business broke
AN ANGRY Boreen Point resident has had enough of promises from Australia's largest phone network provider, claiming he's "going broke” not being able to make and receive business calls.
Peter Fryer said he was on the brink of closing his 20-year home business due to his house being located in a "black spot” not covered by Telstra reception.
Mr Fryer said he had been repeatedly reassured by Telstra representatives that equipment to boost reception would be installed soon, however nothing had changed despite beginning inquiries almost a year ago.
"Telstra advised me a new antenna was due late last year but, no, this did not happen,” he said.
"My business is going bust as I can't be contacted via phone. I pay $85 a month for no service. I asked for a refund, but no one can do this.
"The amount (of money) I've lost, it's getting close to closing the business now.”
To continue reading the article: click here. (noosanews.com.au)
New Optus mobile plans offer up to 100GB per month
Premium My Plan options include monthly allowances to satisfy the heaviest mobile data users.
Are you sick of paying extra for exceeding your mobile data limit? Optus has launched new plans for you. Its new Premium My Plan Plus options include 30GB of data for $130 per month or 100GB for $160 per month.
On 24-month contracts, both business plans include unlimited standard national and international roaming talk and texts; unmetered streaming (iHeartRadio, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, Netflix and Stan) and English Premier League coverage; pooled and shared data across up to five eligible devices (including mobile broadband dongles); and an optional new phone after 12 months for $99 with trade-in when recontracting for 24 months.
Roaming data in "selected countries" is included: 1.5GB per month on the $160 plan and 1GB on the $130 plan.
Customers on the $160 plan are promised fast-track customer service.
To continue reading the article: click here. (bit.com.au)