The Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter said the 4GX upgrade to the Telstra tower at Hughenden will be a huge relief to graziers, business people in the town, students and the general public who have experienced months of frustratingly slow and disrupted internet connections.
“It’s a constant battle to try and get reliable telecommunications out in the bush and in country towns and it’s good to count some wins in this area.
“Graziers are trying to run large businesses from remote locations and it’s become very difficult for them when there are problems with the internet.
“Hopefully now the people of Hughenden will experience excellent coverage and high speed connectivity,” Mr Katter said.
He said it was crucial that the upgrade was completed before the tourist season, as locals had complained of slower internet speeds and interference to networks when the grey nomads travelled through the region, chewing up available bandwidth.
“I’m particularly concerned to hear some tourists could be using illegal repeaters to ‘steal’ internet access from our own constituents.
“That is illegal and contravenes Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) regulations.”
The illegal repeaters can be bought online for $70, whereas legal repeaters which don’t disrupt local service, can be purchased for $200.
Mr Katter said other towns in the Gulf are still experiencing communications problems, which were impacting on vital businesses.
“A good communications network is now as much a crucial part of northern development as hard infrastructure such as roads and water.”