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Telstra fails to turn on phone tower in mobile black spot near bushfires

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Residents in a small rural community are desperately appealing for answers as a new phone tower sits idle as bushfires rage nearby.

Megalong Valley near the Blue Mountains is one of hundreds of mobile black spots with poor to no mobile reception.

With recent bushfires having raged just 8km away from the community, locals are terrified people won’t be able to ring emergency services for help because of the lack of reception.

A new Telstra phone tower was installed in July to fix the issue, but it hasn’t been turned on. Telstra say power hasn’t yet been connected to the tower and they can’t say when it will be operational (full statement below).

Local resident Jason Green tells Luke Grant the community has begged for answers but received no proper response.

“We’re frustrated, we’re at our wit’s end and we can’t get a clear answer from Telstra.

“We’re not sure what to do… no one wants to talk to us. We’re trying to prevent a potential tragedy happening here if somebody’s trying to ring triple zero or emergency and they can’t, especially if their landline’s gone out.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Full statement from Telstra:

“With limited time, here’s the best I can give at the moment:

  • The Megalong Valley mobile site is being built by Telstra as part of the Federal Government Blackspot Program.

  • To activate the site we require mains power to be connected and we are currently working with the local power authority to make this happen.

  • At this stage we don’t have an on-air date as yet but are keen to get this resolved as soon as possible.”


Image: Getty/Cameron Spencer