THE last lot of mobile phone towers announced in the first round of the federal government’s black spot program are due to be switched on in the coming months, three years after they were first announced in 2015.
The Vodafone towers at Barraba, Manilla and Fossickers Way are all due to go online by the end of August, while the company’s tower at Moonbi will be up and running by the end of September.
Telstra expects its tower on Walcha Road to be completed before the end of the year.
“Construction on the Walcha Road tower has commenced with the bulk of the construction work now complete,” a Telstra spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, the first-round towers of Duri, Piallamore and Warral were switched on.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce brushed off concerns how long it took for the towers to become part of the network, saying they were all within the promised three-year time frame.
“None of them are late,” Mr Joyce said.
“We said they were going to be completed by the end of this year.”
In total, 37 new mobile tower sites have been announced in New England over three rounds of funding.
“It’s all part of trying to blanket the area with mobile coverage,” Mr Joyce said.
“We’ve got a big old electorate, and we’re getting closer, but there is still more work to be done.”