Switched on

By Country News

After a long time spent on hold, Gunbower residents will soon be able to enjoy improved mobile phone reception, with a new base station switched on last week.

The Telstra station was delivered under round one of the $220million Mobile Black Spot Program, with residents waiting many months for it to finally be in operation.

Federal Regional Services Minister Bridget McKenzie and Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum welcomed the switching on of the new base station.

‘‘Its fantastic to see that the program is reaching more and more communities across Australia — like Gunbower,’’ Ms McKenzie said.

‘‘This program is delivering much-needed new investment in mobile infrastructure across Australia to address mobile coverage issues.’’

The Mobile Black Spot Program enables mobile carriers to service areas such as Gunbower where it would otherwise not have been economically viable.

‘‘I understand how critical reliable mobile service is becoming in day-to-day life, so I am pleased to see phone coverage expanding in regional areas like Gunbower,’’ Mr Drum said.

Under the first two rounds of the program, a total of 765 new base stations will be delivered to address black spots across the country.

A further $60million has been committed for a third round to address 125 sites in priority black spot areas.

Rollout of round three, the Priority Locations Round, has started and is scheduled to be completed this year.

■More information about the program and the rollout schedule is available at: