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Sydney’s The Ponds: Mobile black spot

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Reports of poor cell phone reception in The Ponds area of Western Sydney have surfaced, with local residents affected and their daily lives disrupted.

Despite being one of the city’s fastest urban growth areas, mobile infrastructure seems to have failed to keep pace and many residents have to go outside just to make a call, regardless of the phone provider, The Daily Telegraph reported

The Ponds have a significant population from Indian backgrounds, in 2016 it was revealed that they make up more than 22% of the suburb, according to Blacktown City Council.

A report in The Daily Telegraph today cited residents describing their mobile phone woes.

Reportedly, the Rouse Hill area has undergone a population boom since its development began in the 1990s. The Hills Shire and Blacktown council areas are two of the fastest-growing Sydney LGAs, with a further 240,000 residents expected to live there by 2031, the daily reported.

Stepping in to shed light on the problem was Michelle Rowland MP, Federal Member for Greenway and Shadow Minister for Communications.

“Now, more than ever, adequate access to mobile coverage is imperative, especially if we’re working from home during lockdown,” she said in an official statement.

“However, the evidence from a local survey show that the residents from The Ponds in Greenway are frustrated with the poor mobile coverage.”

She mentioned that she has written to the Chief Executive Officers of Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and TPG, and received separate briefings from their network planners and engineering teams. Each company acknowledged to her that their coverage quality in The Ponds area is inadequate and that it should be a priority to address.

“I am working through the details of these circumstances with the mobile carriers, the NSW Government and the Blacktown City council,” she said. “My goal is to facilitate and accelerate a practical solution to improve your mobile coverage, because having access to quality connectivity is essential for quality of life.”

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