Telstra, and the work of a subcontractor, is being blamed for a phone tower west of Uralla that is not working, leaving residents with no mobile phone coverage.
Wendy Westbrook is the spokesperson for the community group at Balala, called 'Gabfest', that decided to take action in January this year when the new nearby phone tower provided no reception.
The tower is on a Retreat Road property and the owner has entered into a lease arrangement with Telstra. It was erected by a subcontractor hired by Telstra.
Ms Westbrook said the region now had no communication coverage after the tower was built at the bottom of a hill.
"It does not help the situation in a paddock facing a brown snake or other serious injury," she said.
Before July 2018, a tower at Invergowrie provided coverage to the region but it's antenna was adjusted and no longer covers the area.
The new tower is situated 942 metres above sea level. It is 40m high and on top of that structure the important repeater equipment, initially with the incorrect aerials installed, sits 30 metres below the top of the hill at its base.
If the tower had been constructed on a nearby hill a further 50 metres above its present height, it might provide optimum communication services.
"We want a working tower to give us communication that we have paid for in our taxes and continue to pay for in our taxes," Ms Westbrook said.
The Armidale Express contacted Telstra, and asked how Telstra, or its subcontractor, chose the location for the new phone tower.
In response, Telstra's regional general manager Mike Marom said locations came from a government database.
"Under the rules of the program (which are set by the federal government), we are required to nominate regional and remote locations from the government's database of mobile black spots as reported by members of the public, local communities and councils and other interested parties.
"We are also required to abide by a series of criteria, including the lack of existing coverage and the number of people who would benefit from a new mobile base station when bidding for black spot locations."
Meanwhile, Balala residents have also contacted the company.
CEO Andy Penn advised residents to purchase one of two Telstra products (the TMSA or the Telstra GoRepeater) to resolve coverage issues, when Ms Westbrook wrote to Telstra.
In his reply, Mr Penn also stated that the new Balala repeater tower was "operating at its optimum performance".
Another local resident John Hewins has developed, at his own expense, his own repeater station using a tower on the New England Highway near Kentucky.
He said the two recommendations from Telstra were not going to provide urgent or life threatening phone calls.