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Mobile coverage extended on the New England Highway.

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Sandy Macdonald National Party Senator for NSW

28 February 2003

Mobile coverage extended on the New England Highway The final stage of the Commonwealth Government’s Mobile Phones on Highways Program will see the construction of a tower at Mount Mackenzie near Tenterfield, NSW National Party Senator Sandy Macdonald announced today.

“This site, scheduled to be operational in April, will add to sites already switched on along the New England Highway at Murrurundi, Quirindi, Nemingha, Wallabadah, Ben Lomond, Uralla, Guyra, Glen Innes, Dundee and Bolivia,” Senator Macdonald said.

“The Mobile Phones on Highways program will benefit not only motorists, but people living near the New England Highway, with increased coverage assisting our community in their commercial and personal activities.”

Vodafone was the tenderer chosen to extend its GSM network to provide coverage along highways through Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

Vodafone is also required to offer `inter-carrier roaming’, giving other mobile phone companies the option of an agreement with Vodafone to use their phone towers

“With the completion of this program there will be near continuous mobile phone coverage between Sydney and Brisbane along the New England Highway, the Sydney - Newcastle Freeway and the Cunningham Highway.”

“The almost finalised network will cover a total of 10,000 kilometres of major highways across Australia.”

“In addition to improving mobile phone coverage on major highways, the Government has also provided funding, under the Regional Mobile Phone Program, to improve spot coverage on 34 regional highways across the country, including the Bruxner and Gwydir Highways in the New England.”

“These programs demonstrate the Government’s ongoing commitment to provide improved mobile telecommunications services for all Australians,” Senator Macdonald said.

Media Contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 6766 6998 / 0427 570 506