Major infrastructre planned to tackle mobile black spots

A MAJOR mobile phone provider is moving to improve reception coverage on a notorious stretch of highway in the Somerset region known as a mobile phone black spot.

Somerset Regional Council has approved for a new Optus telecommunications tower to be built at Moore in response to "significant coverage problems" on the D'Aguilar Hwy.

The proposal, in the Benarkin State Forest, is part of a nationwide rollout to improve mobile coverage and access to enhanced services via the Optus mobile network in rural areas across Australia.

While some tree clearing is needed to make way for the 60m high tower, a certified spotter and catcher will be on site to make arrangements for displaced furry friends and koala exclusion panelling will be installed on the facility boundary fencing to prevent koala access to the compound.

Once installed, the facility will provide significantly improved and continuous network coverage in Benarkin and the surrounding area, as well as continuous service along the D'Aguilar Highway.

Application documents reveal the facility is critical community infrastructure, proposed in response to significant coverage problems at Benarkin and the D'Aguilar Highway.

"A key driver for the site is public safety for travellers on the highway. Unfortunately, because of challenging local terrain, from a technical perspective Optus were restricted in where the site could feasibly be located; and for a site to provide a feasible level of coverage, it is needed to be located on high terrain with a structure tall enough for antennas to have line of sight to the D'Aguilar Highway," the documents read.



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