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Four sites in the Pilbara have been confirmed to receive mobile phone towers that will bring new connectivity to two of the region’s most iconic tourism destinations.
Three of the selected sites are within Karijini National Park, providing mobile coverage to the campground, Eco Retreat and visitor centre, with the fourth site at the Millstream-Chichester National Park homestead.
The coverage will be delivered through a small cell satellite solution, an innovative means of providing mobile phone coverage up to a three-kilometre radius in remote areas where wide-area coverage is unaffordable.
Pilbara Development Commission Chief Executive Officer Terry Hill welcomed the announcement.
“Our national parks are famous for their remote location off the beaten track because that’s where people can really immerse themselves in the Pilbara landscape,” Mr Hill said.
“In this digital age, visitors expect a level of connectivity – this will allow them to share their experiences instantly on social media and keep in touch with family and friends while travelling in the region.”
Mr Hill said it was the first piece of a large puzzle.
“The four new coverage areas are a great start and a huge boost for the region’s national parks. The Commission will continue to advocate for seamless mobile coverage across the Pilbara,” Mr Hill said.
“The installation of the four mobile phone towers directly aligns with the Pilbara Regional Investment Blueprint which singles out activation of the Pilbara’s iconic national parks as transformational opportunities.”
The installation of the towers will help to activate the two national parks by providing 3G mobile coverage to visitors as well for tourism and other businesses operating in the area.
In addition to the four Pilbara sites, coverage gaps will be eliminated along a 600 kilometre stretch of the Great Northern Highway between Wubin and Narracoota.
The new sites will be delivered under Round 2 of the Commonwealth's Mobile Black Spot Program, supported by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.
The installations are due to be completed by 2019.