A review of regional telecommunication services has found that poor mobile phone reception is the number one concern for residents in regional Australia.
And Tenambit resident Trevor Lynch couldn’t agree more.
Mr Lynch is unhappy about the Optus mobile phone tower in Butchers Lane in Morpeth which has not operated since it was built in mid-2011.
Optus has given him several dates when it would be operational but nothing has happened.
“As of yesterday I have been told it would be opened in early July,” he said.
“The Optus customers in Tenambit, Morpeth and Chisholm are very disadvantaged by having poor mobile service.
“At my house if you want to make a phone call you have to go and stand in the gutter.
“If you want to send a text message you have to walk towards the letterbox.”
Mr Lynch said the tower was a worthwhile resource that should have been operational from mid-2011.
“It is out there, it looks like all of the electrics are hooked up to it, but it hasn’t been commissioned,” he said.
“People living in these areas deserve to know what is taking so long.”
The tower is believed to be a joint operation between Optus and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
The Mercury contacted both companies but they were unable to issue a response on Thursday afternoon.
The telecommunication review committee has made it clear that mobile phone reception is the number one concern in regional Australia.
The issue has been raised during every regional consultation and in two thirds of the submissions received by the review panel.
“What this review confirms is the Gillard government has got its priorities wrong on regional telecommunications and the minister is completely out of touch with regional Australia,” opposition spokesmen for regional communications Luke Hartsuyker said.
“To fully participate in the digital economy, regional communities need access to a range of technologies, including mobile voice and data services.
“The government priority should always have been to address the telecommunications black spots.
“But instead they are focused on duplicating services in some areas while other communities struggle with poor reception and third world telecommunications connections.”