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King Island to receive mobile phone service.



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King Island to receive mobile phone service The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today launched a new era of communications for King Island in the Bass Strait.

The Commonwealth Government's Networking the Nation program provided close to $2 million for a CDMA mobile network and wireless local loop (WLL) pilot project for King Island. Telstra in partnership with Nortel won the successful tender.

'Up to 350 King Island residents will be given the opportunity to be the first Australians to pilot CDMA WLL-which has huge potential for remote, rural and regional Australia,' Senator Alston said.

'This pilot will enable them to experience the benefits of mobile communications, will improve communications access outside the immediate vicinity of the township, and will help develop innovative solutions for regional Australia.

'We know from the recent Telecommunications Service Inquiry, one of the major concerns raised by consumers in regional Australia is the delays experienced in delivering new services where new infrastructure needs to be installed. With CDMA WLL there is no delay in trenching for new cables-in fact, new services could even be delivered by courier or parcel post,' Senator Alston said.

'And in terms of network reliability and fault rectification--with CDMA WLL there are no cables to deteriorate or be cut by contractors, no problems with interference from electric fences, no problems caused by weather or floods. Repairs may be as simple as swapping the customer's telephone.'

Programs like Networking the Nation, and the range of initiatives made possible

by the second partial sale of Telstra, are helping to see that Australians have increased access to new services and infrastructure.

'Not only are these policies improving service standards and lowering prices for all consumers, they have the potential to generate new jobs and significantly lower the costs of doing business in regional Australia,' Senator Alston said.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, Senator Alston's office 02 6277 7480 or 0409 445 246

Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

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27 October 2000

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