Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon has welcomed a commitment of $6.5 million by Optus to upgrade mobile coverage in the Hunter Valley.
The investment will improve 3G and 4G mobile coverage and performance in the Lower and Upper Hunter regions, including along the New England and Golden Highways.
In the past 12 months more than $5 million has been invested to build 10 new sites and upgrade 14 existing sites.
New sites switched on include Millfield, Singleton CBD, Singleton North, Singleton South, Muswellbrook CBD, Muswellbrook South and Mount Thorley.
Upgrades have been made to a number of existing locations to boost 4G coverage in Branxton, Denman and Pokolbin. Work has also started on the $1.5 million second stage to identify sites that will boost coverage and capacity in Branxton, Aberdeen and along the New England Highway and build further resiliency into the network.
“Optus’ development is a good thing for Hunter residents, businesses and visitors. It not only extends coverage, it also encourages competition between carriers to provide further improved mobile service and coverage,” Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.
“If we are to bridge the divide between the city and bush, the delivery of high quality communications services to rural and regional Australia is key.”
Meanwhile, Optus Network Manager, Vin Mullins said the growing demand for mobile services is why Optus is investing to improve mobile coverage in regional Australia.
“Reliable telecommunications services are vital to a number of local sectors including agribusiness, resources and tourism. Our investment demonstrates our commitment to providing real choice and competition for business and industry in the Hunter,” Mr Mullins said.
As part of the investment, Optus is particularly focused on adding additional capacity to the network to support local businesses.