Springwood and Winmalee Telstra customers should start enjoying improved mobile coverage after a new telephone tower became operational this month.
Local politicians and Telstra representatives inspected the new tower at Summerhayes Park on Friday.
Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman said Winmalee residents had waited a long time for the development.
“Council and Telstra should be congratulated for working through some challenging issues,” she said.
These included finding a site that met Telstra’s and the local community’s needs, as well as negotiating to lease the land from Blue Mountains City Council.
“We had quite lengthy negotiations over the leasing and the location and we’re really pleased it’s come to this now,” said Ward 3 Cr Mick Fell.
“We’ll have much better coverage… People will hopefully notice the difference and it will make the area safer in times of natural emergencies.”
Telstra’s area general manager Tricia Wilson said the company was “thankful for the collaboration between Telstra and council ... including the significance of council’s role as land owner of the property on which the tower was installed, and key stakeholder in negotiating this arrangement on public land”.
“The growing use of mobile devices is changing the way we live. We know how important high-speed mobile can be to supporting local communities and businesses, especially during times of emergency, and we are excited to extend this to more people in the Blue Mountains.”
While lauding the development, Susan Templeman urged other mobile phone carriers “to make use of this infrastructure, so that it is not just Telstra customers who benefit from the improved signal”.
She was backed by Ward 3 Cr Shae Foenander who said she would like to see other phone carriers lease land to provide their customers with better coverage “because at the moment only Telstra customers are benefitting”.
We know how important high-speed mobile can be to supporting local communities and businesses, especially during times of emergency, and we are excited to extend this to more people in the Blue Mountains.Tricia Wilson