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Byron Shire
October 2, 2023

Mullumbimby Telstra tower working again

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Mullumbimby Telstra tower being repaired following an alleged arson attack on March 18. Photo Ewan Willis

It was with shock that I heard my mobile phone ring early Sunday evening, it had been a while, actually it had been since the floods in late February. Three-and-a-half long months that I’d been in a black spot. Well, actually that’s a lie, I did have a short period of connectivity post-flood and pre-considerate-arson when some caring community member decided to burn the Mullumbimby Telstra tower on March 18! Then it was nothing. 

That nothing left me, and others I know in those black spots, with plenty of challenges with things like banking, anything to do with two-factor authentication, work, and especially anything to do with emergency responding such as being a doctor, a Rural Fire Service (RFS) or a State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer. Getting notifications was a challenge, meaning that there were risks of people not responding when they were needed. And when a tree fell on my house I had to drive to town to call the SES!

A temporary mobile facility had been in place to ensure the town remains connected and work started to restore the Telstra tower on June 7. During the work there were a number of protestors highlighting the fact that they believe that 5G is harmful. 

The work undertaken was ‘to restore the upgraded 4G and 5G services in the area, which provide the extra speed and capacity locals have been asking for,’ said a Telstra spokesperson. 

‘We know some groups don’t support the technology upgrade but we also have a great deal of support from locals, who have been through an incredibly difficult period and who have been calling for improved services, as the 4G service was at times suffering significant congestion.

‘Our restoration will ultimately provide the community with permanent connectivity, as well as significantly better mobile coverage, and a much improved customer experience.’

It is understood a tower was installed in Byron Bay approximately five months ago and another is planned for in Ocean Shores in the near future. 

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