Optus switches on new site in Mt McDonald to tackle mobile blackspot

Optus has switched on a new tower in Mt McDonald delivering much needed coverage and connectivity to the area as part of the Federal Governments Mobile Black Spot Program.

The new site is being co-funded by Optus and the Federal and NSW Governments as part of Round 2 of the Federal Governments Mobile Black Spot Program. The tower will provide enhanced coverage to more than 250 premises and 35 kms of roadways including Darby Falls Road and Reg Hailstone Way, offering local residents dedicated and reliable mobile coverage for the first time.

Andrew Sheridan, Optus Vice President of Regulatory and Public Affairs said, Bringing much-needed mobile coverage to rural communities like Mt McDonald is important for residents. It not only means greater safety for people living, working and driving through these areas by unlocking access to communication but it also helps to facilitate contact with family and friends.

Ensuring all Australians are able to access reliable mobile coverage is something we are continuing to work towards and programs like the Federal Governments Mobile Black Spot Program are crucial to helping us achieve this goal.

Investing in mobile base stations creates opportunities for agriculture and small businesses as well as health and education services; in turn benefitting the local economies of these regional areas.

The new facility provides coverage for calls, text and data services across Optus 4G and 3G network.

The Mt McDonald site will enhance coverage along the roads connecting Darby Falls, Woodstock and Wyangala, and is vital for those driving through these areas to be able to access reliable mobile reception.

Optus mobile black spot sites have resulted in over 350,000 hours of calls, carried over 7.2 million new calls and served over 1,000,000 individual users; reflecting our commitment to enabling a greater availability of mobile services for our customers no matter where they live.

This program delivers valuable opportunities for these regional communities, allowing areas to remain competitive with access to the same resources as the rest of Australia, Mr Sheridan added.

Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said he was delighted to see another mobile phone tower activated in the region.

I am pleased to have helped deliver a mobile base station for Mount McDonald and surrounding communities, Mr McCormack said.

This new tower builds on the improved coverage across regional Australia, with 23 towers secured around the Riverina and Central West.

But I know there is more to be done to continue delivering improved coverage for rural and regional Australians, which is why the Government has invested a further $160 million to secure two more rounds of the successful Mobile Black Spot Program to complement the more than 1,000 towers across regional Australia.

Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, said the Government is committed to delivering access to reliable communications in the regions.

The Mobile Black Spot Program is changing the lives of rural and regional Australians across the country, providing communities with the phone service they need to stay connected, conduct business and access education services, Minister Coulton said.

This Governments commitment to building mobile base stations has made close to 25,000 additional Triple 0 calls to be made.

Under the first four rounds of the program funding has been committed to deliver 1047 new base stations, thanks to more than $760 million in co-investment, bringing new and improved mobile coverage to areas like Mt McDonald.

Optus is a valued participant in this program thats delivering better phone service for more people.


The Mobile Black Spot Program is a Federal Government initiative to improve and extend mobile phone coverage in regional and remote Australia.

The Federal Government has committed $380 million to this Program, which includes $160 million in funding for two new rounds (Rounds 5 and 6). The Governments commitment has been supported with co-invested by state and local governments, businesses, community organisations and telecommunications providers.

As part of the Federal Governments Mobile Black Spot Programs Optus will be co-funding and building a total of 175 mobile sites in black spots across the country, a large number of which are in very remote, parts of Australia. A total of 84 of these sites are now live with many under or about to start build.

[Left to right] Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack with Optus Territory General Manager for Central NSW Tom O’Dea

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