We are proud to be working with the Federal Government to bring mobile connectivity to parts of rural and regional Australia for the first time.
In a significant milestone, we have now delivered 500 new mobile base stations under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP), which have carried more than 100 million calls.
This week, I joined Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee, Rick Colless, the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Resources and Western NSW, Lithgow Mayor Ray Thompson and representatives of Lithgow City Council, the Clarence and Dargan Rural Fire Service and the Zig Zag Railway, at Clarence, near Lithgow, in NSW for the opening of our 500th new MBSP base station.
Telstra and both the Federal and NSW Governments have contributed funding towards the Clarence base station.
Clarence is home to the iconic Zig Zag Railway and this new base station will provide 3G and 4G coverage to the area for the first time, opening up a new world of connectivity for the Clarence community and supporting the many tourists who will visit the Zig Zag Railway once it is reopens to the public.
Through the MBSP, we have now provided new or improved mobile coverage for more than 55,000 homes and businesses across 4200 kilometres of road and around 160,000 square kilometres of the country.
But what is even more telling about the importance of this investment is the way these communities, which now have mobile coverage for the first time, are using it.
Since we switched on our first base stations as part of this program in December 2015, there have now been in excess of 100 million calls made and more than 5,000 terabytes of data downloaded.
That’s the equivalent of our customers downloading more than a million HD movies or a billion songs.
Our work is not done yet.
We are building more than 650 new mobile base stations through the three rounds of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program – that’s more than triple the commitment of all other carriers combined and represents a total Telstra investment of $260 million.
In addition to more than 650 new mobile base stations, we are continuing to install Black Spot Small Cells – with around 200 installed to date – delivering high speed 4G data services in some small country towns where suitable Telstra infrastructure is available.
It is all part of our commitment to providing our customers with Australia’s largest and fastest* mobile network.