Region’s mobile black spots must be fixed

Anyone who has driven across the Scenic Rim knows what a nightmare mobile coverage can be in some areas.

Black spots – areas of low or very poor mobile phone coverage – are common here. 

Of course, phone reception is not affected only by a shortage of towers – hills, valleys, mountains and even large areas of bush can also affect services. 

However, when simple processes such as downloading a map or other online information, or even just making a phone call, are virtually impossible, imagine how business owners in black spot areas must feel when trying to transact business. 

It takes no stretch of the imagination to realise business or other opportunities are probably lost on many occasions.   

Then there are teachers and students for whom much of their work and study these days is web-based. 

How can we expect our young people to excel academically if they simply can’t access their teacher’s instructions from home when necessary?

There are also those people who live with medical devices that cannot be monitored remotely without strong mobile coverage.

The very thought is a disgrace in the 21st century. 

The human race is equipped with technology that can send and receive images from far flung areas of our solar system, but call a neighbour or nearby business in some areas of the Scenic Rim?

Forget it.

Local action group Concerned Residents About Mobile Phone Services has stepped up to tackle the situation head on, by bringing awareness of the problem out of the black spots and into the light of day. 

The group is calling for people living and/or working in mobile coverage black spots to complete a feedback form and return it to Wright MP Scott Buchholz’s office, or deliver it to Rathdowney Information Centre.

The mayor has also thrown his weight behind the campaign, calling on politicians and phone companies to address the issues.

Mobile phone networks in regional areas, such as the Scenic Rim, are vital for communication, business, education, tourism and, yes, travel. 

Having good, reliable mobile coverage is vital to the Scenic Rim’s people and economy, but as Cr Christensen so aptly put it, the situation in the Scenic Rim is so “last century”.

Surely our community deserves better.