Michael Ferguson,Minister for Science and Technology
The Hodgman majority Liberal Government will partner with Optus to expand mobile coverage on the Great Eastern Drive, between Binalong Bay and Buckland.
Significant areas along the highway currently have little or no mobile coverage and we are determined to enhance the telecommunications network for the benefit of Tasmanians and visitors, as we also construct major safety improvements to the road itself.
Optus has been selected as the preferred tenderer, in a competitive process, which will see the Government’s own investment of $3.4 million more than triple to over $11 million. A total of 15 new mobile base stations will be constructed along the route.
The project will ensure more than 96 per cent of the highway has high quality mobile coverage, providing better opportunities for communities, upgraded access for tourists and improved safety in general.
Additionally, as part of the tender, the Government has made provision for other telecommunications carriers to co-locate at the site. This means other carriers such as Telstra can install their own equipment to provide similar enhancements to their networks. This is a major win for local residents and visitors alike who have told us their frustration with current extended blackspots.
The Great Eastern Drive is not just a major transport route, but also one of Tasmania’s iconic tourism experiences, and renowned for being one of Australia’s most stunning coastal drives.
The Government will execute the deed with Optus in coming weeks, with construction expected to be complete by early 2021.