Telstra and Brisbane City Council are engaged in an ongoing legal wrangle over mobile coverage facilities.
ARN understands that the issue, which started in 2015, was prompted by a lack of mobile coverage in the Paddington suburb of Brisbane. Telstra, at the time, proposed to replace one of these existing towers to improve mobile coverage in that area.
However, the Brisbane City Council allegedly declined that proposal, dragging on the negotiations for about two years.
ARN understands that, as a result, Telstra has lodged an appeal to the court calling on it to intervene in the matter, and for a decision to be made about the replacement of the mobile coverage tower in question.
The case is still ongoing. As such, Telstra declined to comment on matters before the court.
The case follows a similar one in October 2015, where a dispute between Telstra and Broken Hill City Council saw both entities go to court, with the telco requesting that the conditions over a communications tower be relaxed.
According to the report, Telstra intended to build another mobile phone tower.
Towards the end of 2016, another report stated that a Koonorigan resident allegedly accused Telstra of “deceit” over the proposed location of a 40 metre mobile phone tower, with the Lismore City Council joining this resident and 50 others to oppose plans for the build.
This isn’t the first of such cases.
Most recently, the company behind the National Broadband Network, nbn, took the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to court, following a disagreement over fixed wireless development issues.
On 17 February, the case sat on the Supreme and District Courts Brisbane listing, with nbn confirming the dispute with ARN.
These issues have been more prominent since telcos started to push for better mobile coverage.
Telstra, along with others such as Optus, have been expanding their mobile coverage following Federal Government funding received as part of the Mobile Black Spot Programme.
The funding for the selected base stations in the first round of the initiative came to $385 million, while the second round saw an investment of a $60 million.
The government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme began as a 2013 election commitment to extend mobile phone coverage and industry competition in remote, regional, and outer metropolitan areas.
“Under the Mobile Black Spot Programme we will be delivering expanded 3G/4G mobile coverage to 577 locations across the nation, bringing a range of new benefits to these rural and regional communities,” Telstra’s chief operations officer, Brendon Riley, said previously.
In November last year, Telstra also unveiled its “new strategic plan” where it announced an investment of up to $1.5 billion into building out its “networks for the future”.
Telstra CEO, Andrew Penn, previously said the refined strategy reflected Telstra’s continued drive and focus on improving the experience it provided to customers and growing the core business and businesses close to its core.
“The changes to our strategy are not major, however they are an important signal to shareholders, employees, and our customers that we will be relentless in delivering customer experience improvements and discipline in how we invest in our networks and growth businesses,” Penn said.
Towards the end of last year, the company also pulled the plug on its 2G network for good, with the company revealing that its 3G network could meet the same fate as early as 2020.