The long-suffering residents of Boat Harbour are rejoicing following news this week that mobile phone reception will soon be restored after years of interrupted service.
Paterson MP Meryl Swanson has sent out letters to affected residents, informing them that construction was expected to begin next month on extending the existing Telstra phone tower in Fishermans Bay Road [atop the water tower] to better service the Boat Harbour region.
At the same time Optus has lodged a development application with Port Stephens Council to construct a $180,000 mobile phone base station comprising a 25m monopole and associated infrastructure at the same Fishermans Bay Road site.
“I understand that reception is poor and that this has had a negative impact on the quality of life of residents … that’s why I’ve been working closely with Telstra to resolve the issue,” Ms Swanson said.
“Telstra committed to building a tower at Fishermans Bay to service this area some time ago. Since then they’ve been working with other stakeholders to finalise their plans. I am happy to announce now that Telstra is anticipating to begin construction by the end of March 2019.”
Jeff Lee, a Boat Harbour resident of 23 years, said the situation in Boat Harbour had become a “life or death situation” with many residents at their wit’s end due to the poor mobile phone reception.
“The last viable mobile service was through the old CDMA and it seems odd that we have gone backwards with new technology. Due to the topography of the land the new signals have not been able to penetrate the sand hills and gum trees.
“The situation becomes dangerous during most heavy storms particularly when power is knocked out in Boat Harbour. There is no back up which could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency medical situation.”
Ms Swanson said that a new phone tower was also destined for Fullerton Cove. “I am unsure on where will be constructed, but the tower will be complete by the end of June 2019.”
For more information phone Ms Swanson on 4983 2401.