Bunnaloo’s been left hanging on the phone

October 07, 2017

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker spoke to members of the frustrated Bunnaloo community about their poor phone coverage.

THE frustrated Bunnaloo community finally got answers about their sub-par phone coverage – but the wrong answers.

A recent meeting at the Bunnaloo Recreation Reserve aimed to address community concerns about poor phone coverage in the area.

Residents hoped the telecommunications tower installed earlier this year would be the answer but say it has instead caused additional headaches.

After extensive delays in getting the tower to full capacity, residents hoped their blackspot dilemma would finally come to an end.

But were told the tower is now operating at full capacity and discovered those who missed out on coverage would have to spend additional money on amplifiers to boost their coverage.

Farmer and fence contractor Gerard James said most residents thought the tower would cover much more of the blackspot than it does.

“I struggle to get coverage most places I go around the Murray Shire,” he said.

“The tower radiates less than 10km. Most people expected it to do 30km.

“Heaps of people are left in the dark. We can spend money on amplifiers but that gets expensive when you’re running a business.”

Mr James said the result is disappointing considering the years of campaigning undertaken by Bunnaloo to get the tower installed.

“Telstra said they would have personal meetings with people who are still without coverage, but most people are resigned to their fate,” he said.

Telstra area general manager Steve Tinker said testing was done and engineers believed the tower was delivering coverage as expected and in line with requirements under the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“We understand the delivery of mobile coverage to regional communities is extremely important but several factors influence coverage, including local topography and obstructions such as trees and other structures.

“Based on community feedback we will do further investigations into some unexplained circumstances and our plan is to work with the community and individuals to resolve the issues as soon as we can.”

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