Inadequate mobile coverage in some regional and remote areas of NSW is challenge for residents and visitors, especially in areas which are prone to natural disasters. Patchy, unreliable mobile coverage means difficulty connecting to emergency services such as Ambulance, Police or Fire. This was highlighted during the 2019/20 bushfires where mobile black spots meant that residents faced difficulty obtaining up-to-date information and advice regarding the fires via text messages or apps. Many were not able to remain in contact with friends and family in bushfire impacted areas.
Some residents living around mobile black spot areas may get access to coverage by installing external antennas. However, it is a costly solution and does not guarantee good indoor coverage. In other areas costly antennas are not even an option which means those residents have no coverage at all.
The Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) is addressing the impact of inadequate mobile coverage to around 54,000 NSW residents living, working and travelling in regional and remote areas. The Telco Authority is leading the state-wide rollout of the national Mobile Black Spot Program in NSW.
By reducing black spots and increasing coverage, residents now have more reliable access to emergency services, use of safety apps and can stay in contact family and friends. The MBSP is helping to build ‘better connected communities’ and support citizens where gaps in mobile coverage pose a significant risk to emergency service contact.
It’s exciting to know that to date, 171 of the 182 towers (94%) to be rolled out under Rounds 1 and 2 of the program have been successfully completed. Additionally, close to 20,000 premises and more than 40,000 people have experienced improved, more reliable communications services. Since the launch of the first MBSP site in December 2015, more than 10,000 triple zero calls have been made using newly constructed towers. That’s 10,000 times a call has been made to assist a citizen when they need it most. The MBSP is part of the NSW Telco Authority’s ongoing work to help keep people and places safe.
Visit Mobile Black Spot Program to learn more.