Residents fed up over poor coverage
MOBILE phone users who are fed up with poor coverage across the Tweed region are being urged to share their experiences.
Roger Graf, of the Fingal Head Community Association, said they had been letter-dropping a flyer asking the community to submit their thoughts to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review.
According to Regional Communications Minister Bridget McKenzie, an independent committee is reviewing regional telecommunications to help inform the Federal Government about black spots and other issues.
Mr Graf said the push came as many residents living in Fingal had "no coverage whatsoever".
He said issues included residents being unable to receive text messages about emergencies such as evacuations.
"You have to go outside of your home and if you're lucky you'll get a bar, but you could be cut off while in communication," he said.
"By far the biggest problem that we have is during last year's floods, no one got the SMS saying to evacuate, we just didn't get any kind of SMS at all until after the event, by then it was too late to do anything."
Mr Graf said he had been given the option of installing a booster antenna to attach to his property, but was told there was "no guarantee" it would work.
"They say they can provide you with this antenna but they can't assure you it will work, so you could end up paying $1700 for a booster antenna and it may not even receive a signal," he said.
"We live in the 21st century in an area where the infrastructure should be capable of mobile coverage, you won't even find landlines in another 10 years.
Last week, Pottsville residents told the Tweed Daily News poor mobile reception was hurting local businesses who were unable to process Eftpos transactions due to a lack of mobile coverage.
But Telstra said there were "no immediate plans" to upgrade mobile coverage in the area. The story caused an outcry from residents in Kingscliff, Fingal, Murwillumbah and Pottsville who said they also struggle with little to no mobile reception with both Optus and Telstra.
Pottsville resident Gregg Miller, who is helping lead the charge against poor mobile coverage, said he had recently spoken to the office of Telstra's chief executive but "was cut off five times".
Mr Miller said he had walked around 18 businesses in Pottsville and "every single one said they were having severe breakdowns with Eftpos".
"I believe there is a problem with the communications towers but we're living in 2018, we shouldn't have to be sitting in the streets to be able to talk," he said.
"Telstra is trying to say it's the terrain where we live but we're on the border of Queensland with a very high population growth, it's just not good enough."
This week's Tweed Link also asked residents to submit their feedback on mobile phone coverage in the area.
To submit your feedback for the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review click here.
Submissions are open until August 5.