Telstra, the Queensland government and the Torres Strait
Regional Authority (TSRA) have announced a $7.32 million project to bring 4G
connectivity to the Torres Strait.
Telstra has agreed to contribute $3.66 million towards the project, the Queensland Government will contribute $2.26 million and the TSRA will provide $1.4 million.
Cynthia Lui, state legislative member for Cook, said the project will bring 4G connectivity to 14 of the region’s islands by 2021. Currently many of the islands still rely on 3G while 4G coverage is patchy at best.
“This is fantastic news and will have a huge impact on how we keep in touch and improve education and grow business in our community,” Lui said.
“As digital technology rapidly advances it is vital for everyone to be able to keep pace, especially in remote areas.
“A large barrier between the islands and mainland is technology and communication, so this upgrade to 4G will ensure we can stay connected which will enhance how we work and learn.”
According to Fred Gela, Torres Strait Island regional council mayor, the region has limited access to NBN satellite services for internet connectivity.
"This project will build considerably on that capacity and deliver significant local benefits to the communities of the Torres Strait,” he said.
Rachel Cliffe, regional general manager at Telstra said their
$3.66 million investment is “all about digital inclusion and ensuring that no matter
where you live in Queensland, you can enjoy the endless opportunities that come
from being online.”
“Telstra takes its responsibility to bridge the digital divide between the city and remote Australian communities very seriously, which is why we’ve already delivered a number of projects in the Torres Strait to enable customers to access faster fixed line broadband, make mobile calls and access fast wireless data,” she added.
This is the latest project in a long line to improve connectivity across the Torres Strait, as well as the latest project through the collaboration of the Queensland government, the federal government’s department of agriculture, Telstra and the TSRA.