Darkan base station lifts mobile coverage with claims to ‘change lives’

Headshot of Kellie Balaam
Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
Telstra’s Boyd Brown.
Camera IconTelstra’s Boyd Brown. Credit: Louise White/Kalgoorlie Miner

Mobile coverage around Darkan has been boosted with a new site activated under the Federal Government’s mobile black spot program.

The new mobile base station is south-east of the township near Mt Fisher and is equipped with a 4GX service to provide a faster mobile network with more consistent data speeds.

The base station is among 214 mobile coverage black spots across regional and rural WA benefiting from expanded 3G/4G mobile coverage provided by Telstra through the Federal Government’s mobile black spot program.

Telstra area general manager Boyd Brown said the new station would “change lives”.

“As one of our State’s primary agricultural regions this new site is a big bonus for the Darkan community, as well as providing coverage for motorists and tourists travelling on the nearby Coalfields Road that runs between Collie and Albany Highway,” he said.

“Local residents can keep in contact with family and friends and agricultural businesses can now operate more effectively, whether it’s ordering stock on the phone or using a range of online services over our fast-mobile network.

“Mobile devices are a necessary part of a modern lifestyle and through the successful mobile black spot program we’re working hard to close the gaps.”

Arthur River farmer John Pascoe contacted the Observer in December about poor Telstra mobile coverage.

He had contacted Telstra in September after he found his mobile coverage had deteriorated after the Arthur River base station was upgraded.

In response to the new base station, Mr Pascoe said he had doubts.

“I am at Arthur River, 25km from Darkan, so I would not expect there to be any change,” he said.

“Our coverage is still appalling, especially with local-to-local calls. I had a call with a neighbour (Saturday) morning and we gave up after three dropouts.”

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