Telstra selected to improve WA regional communications

Western Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities and businesses will receive access to a mobile voice and wireless broadband service.

Telecommunications company, Telstra was selected to deliver the three year project with $39.2 million in Royalties for Regions funding under the Regional Mobile Communications Project (RMCP).

Minister for Science and Innovation, John Day said Telstra and the WA government will deliver about $106 million in value to deploy mobile communications infrastructure at 113 sites along major roads and highways and in several regional communities under the project.

According to Mr Day, the project will increase mobile phone usage in the state by up to 22 per cent, while “significantly boosting” access to next generation broadband services.

The selection followed a tender process seeking a “suitably experienced and accredited contractor or contractors” to deliver broadband and mobile communications services to regions along major arterial roads and highways.

According to the WA Department of Commerce, Telstra will own and operate the infrastructure provided under the RMCP project.

Despite Telstra’s ownership, the government will have access to it under the Right of Use provisions agreed with Telstra to allow emergency service organizations to collocate their own radio communications infrastructure at each site.

These agencies will include the WA Police, Fire and Emergency Services Authority of WA and the Department of Environment and Conservation.

The government’s funding agreement with Telstra for the right of use will last for up to 15 years.

Minister for Regional Development, Brendon Grylls said the RMCP will have a “huge impact” on the delivery of state government and emergency services, especially in communities prone to bushfire and road trauma.

“Public safety in the regions will be boosted with enhanced emergency radio and mobile telecommunication coverage,” Mr Grylls said.

He said firefighters and emergency medical services can use wireless broadband to download vital information while out in the field and be able to remotely access and transmit information in real time.

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