South Coast NSW residents have been given a network upgrade as Optus invests $5.3 million aiming to improve network coverage, reliability, and connectivity speed, following the unprecedented 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires.
This is one of the most significant investments Optus has made in the region to date. The funding will see eight towers upgraded or built from now into 2023, aiming to enhance local coverage in the Shoalhaven region.
Nick Gibson, Optus Territory General Manager for Southern New South Wales said: “The outages and network impacts that occurred in the Shoalhaven region during the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires highlighted the importance of mobile connectivity for effective response and recovery efforts.
“Optus’ investment into growing and improving the towers will not only aim to assist first responders and impacted residents to remain connected and online during a crisis but also aims to ensure the local community and businesses can rely on our services outside of times of crisis.
“The Shoalhaven region had another busy summer, with tourists travelling to the region. We hope everyone is enjoying what the South Coast has to offer, while staying connected.”
Finn Henriksen, owner of Henriksen Electrical, has been contracting in the Shoalhaven area for 30 years. Since the installation of the Optus tower in Basin View, Henriksen has experienced improved mobile coverage and said his business productivity has increased.
“My mobile can now receive up to three to four bars of Optus 5G in the area, where previously I reached one to two bars of 3G and had to walk out to the street to get reception,” Henriksen said.
“After switching my business landline to Optus, my business can function, and I have a reliable connection with better reception in the office, at home, and on the road when travelling around the Shoalhaven area.”
Following the 2019/2020 devastating bushfire season, the NSW Government conducted a Bushfire Inquiry. Its Final Report stated that throughout the fires, the community valued telecommunication above all other services.
Optus strives to continuously innovate and invest in knowledge about network resilience when it comes to its regional network.
The planned network mobile improvements are part of Optus’ ongoing upgrade and expansion of its telecommunications infrastructure and mobile service around the country to improve coverage, reliability, and speed across the Optus network.
Eight Shoalhaven region locations are slated for new towers or upgrades, including: