Finally, a Telstra Mobile phone tower is proposed for 150 Retreat Road, Balala within the next 6 months.
The development will be a 30m mono-pole tower with 6 antennas each up to 2.8m, a standard shelter and ancillary equipment, 18 December 2017,"
Balala locals were told. The local Balala residents, have written complaining that the tower has failured to provide a communication service.
The community has approached Telstra and other utilities about their concerns, that 150 Retreat Road, Site Number RFNSA 2358008 not providing day to day communication. The tower is also not facilitating any reliable communication when an urgent incident occurs.
Inquiries focusing on the position of the tower, in a lower area, adjacent to an accessible hill, has not lead to an explanation why the tower was placed where it is.
"The CDC for the tower on Retreat Road Balala was through a private certifier and not Uralla council," a spoke person from the Uralla council stated.
Again guidelines for Round 5 were released on 5 April 2019. Up to $80 million in funding has been allocated for Round 5.
Like previous rounds of the Program, Round 5 encourages the mobile industry and state and local governments to work together to address mobile black spots across regional and remote Australia.
"Interested communities are encouraged to contact the mobile network operators and state and local government authorities to make their needs known."
This July, Round 5 of funding must be applied for, so that other communication towers can be erected by telecos in other Black Spot areas.
The Department of Communication and the Arts has confirmed that,
"The Australian Government is improving mobile phone coverage and competition in regional and remote Australia through the Mobile Black Spot Program.
"We have invested significantly in regional telecommunications infrastructure through the Mobile Black Spot Program and prioritising the regional rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN)."
"The Department of Communications and the Arts will work with the ACCC and the Australian Communications and Media Authority to explore different monitoring options for satellite and the fixed wireless networks."
"Under Round 1 of the Mobile Black Spot Program, Telstra was awarded funding to build a base station in Balala.
"The specific site in Balala where the mobile base station was to be constructed was proposed by Telstra as part of their funding application.
"In determining the Balala mobile base station site, Telstra would have looked at the mobile coverage that would be delivered, the availability of existing infrastructure such as power and backhaul, the cost, and other relevant matters such as possible environmental issues," responded the Department of Communications and the Arts, last week.
"The 'Black Spot Program' is not the responsibility of the ACMA," Alex McGregor ACMA Media wrote .
But Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has warned telcos such as Telstra for failing to comply with rules for, deploying mobile phone base stations.
The Department of Communications and Arts stated that:
Reliable mobile coverage is set to reach thousands more Australians in regional and remote areas with an additional $160 million to be invested in two new funding rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
The Mobile Black Spot Program is not under investigation by the ACMA.
The federal government would have to decide to nominate the Mobile Black Spot Program for review. The 'Black Spot Program' is not the responsibility of the ACMA but in relation to areas that we are reviewing particularly, in rural areas there are public concerns that having received funding for towers, there is still no upgrade in communications.
"Telcos must keep affected communities in the loop and consider their feedback when establishing or upgrading mobile phone base stations," Ms O'Loughlin said.
"The community wants to know and be part of the decisions around the locations of communication towers.
"We are listening to the people living and working in our regions. One of the many ways we are doing this is through the regular independent review of telecommunications services," the former Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation stated in 2018.