NSW Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill was given the honours of cutting the red ribbon on the new Telstra tower at the Henty Machinery Field Days this week.
The field days site benefitted from $651,000 in funding received by Telstra in the second round of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) to build a new 35-metre tower to replace a temporary small-cell Telstra service.
It was good news for visitors to the event and local residents are also enjoying improved mobile coverage and connectivity.
“Projects like this provide important, improved communications services to communities like Henty, helping to keep the community connected through better mobile phone service and broadband,” Senator O’Neill said after her visit to the field days.
“The new base station provides a dramatic improvement of handheld coverage to support local events, including the Henty Machinery Field Days, contributing to economic growth and tourism as well as improving public safety for this area,” she added.
“Increased connectivity will also enable greater access to essential services including telehealth and emergency services.”
Telstra’s regional general manager for Southern NSW Chris Taylor said mobile connectivity was becoming increasingly important for Australians and this was evident in daily network data.
“Each day we have about 20 million devices using our mobile network and together they make about 60 million phone calls, send 40 million SMS, and use about 8.6 million Gigabytes of mobile data,” said Mr Taylor.
“Co-investment programs such as this, where carriers like Telstra and the government work together to share the cost in bringing new connectivity in regional and rural locations, are really important in helping deliver great connectivity outcomes and enabling all Australians to participate fully in the digital economy.”
The Henty site was built by Telstra as part of the RCP, with funding provided by Telstra and the Commonwealth Government.
The new installation, which provides 4G and 5G connectivity, will help allow the latest in agricultural tech to be showcased at the field days event each year and support economic growth and prosperity in the agricultural area of Henty.
However, the base station will be more than a support for the field days, as the permanent facility will provide long-term improved coverage and capacity for residents, particularly those living on the western side of the township.
As part of RCP, across Australia Telstra is partnering with the Commonwealth Government to fund the construction or upgrade of 168 sites across 147 different telecommunications projects.
The projects range from transmission, coverage, and capacity upgrades plus construction of new macro or small-cell mobile base stations in blackspot areas.
“As a company, we also heavily invest in improving regional connectivity. Over the past seven years to the end of June 2022, we have invested around $4 billion in improving our regional mobile network,” Mr Taylor said.
Telstra has more than 11,700 mobile base stations covering more than 2.7 million square kilometres, around one million kilometres more than any other mobile network. Nationally, the Telstra network provides coverage to 99.6 per cent of the Australian population.