Work has commenced on a project to bring Telstra’s 4GX connectivity to the west coast of Tasmania.
With a total price of $5.2 million, the project is expected to bring a new mobile base station to Tullah and bring the telecommunication company’s 4GX service to Rosebery, Queenstown, Savage River, Strahan, Zeehan and Waratah, according to Paul Fletcher, minister for communications, cyber safety and the arts.
Work on this project has begun, with the first 4GX upgrade forecast to be online in approximately 12 months.
According to the telecommunications company, Telstra’s 4GX network can see typical download speeds of up to 150 Mbps – triple the typical download speed of Telstra’s 4G network of up to 50Mpbs.
“This project will bring significant benefits to people living in regional communities on the Western Tasmanian Coast,” said Fletcher.
The project is a collaboration between Telstra, the West Coast Council, Waratah-Wynyard Council and the Federal Government, which Mark Coulton, minister for regional services, decentralisation and local government said the network upgrades will bring with it technological advancement to the region.
“This investment will help bridge the digital divide in Tasmania, more than doubling the existing backhaul capacity to these towns to meet the current and future needs of the communities in the area,” Coulton said.
Gavin Pearce, member for Braddon said the coverage will bring connectivity for families, small businesses and the “thousands of tourists” who visit the area every year with coverage expected to improve along Cradle Mountain to Strahan.
Michael Patterson, Telstra’s regional general manager for Tasmania, added the federal government’s investment will boost network capacity on Tasmania’s west coast and increase the resilience of the network.
The project was first announced in July 2018 by former Liberal candidate for Braddon Brett Whiteley and former minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, based on a proposal from 2016.
Other Federal Government projects in the region include a $18.5 million plan to upgrade the region’s broadband connectivity through a mix of NBN fixed line and fixed wireless technologies and the Mobile Black Spot Program to construct 47 mobile base station across Tasmania, with over 33 already being completed.