Mobile phone tower to be built at Mypolonga

Coverage for calls, texts and data will finally improve at Mypo if an Optus proposal receives development approval.

Mobile phone coverage at Mypolonga should improve soon.

Optus plans to build a tower there.

Two years after it was promised by the federal government, plans for the mobile phone tower on Woolshed Road – next to the town’s telephone exchange and CFS station – have been lodged with the Murray Bridge council.

The 41-metre-high tower would provide for 4G and 3G data coverage as well as better reception for calls and text messages.

While the improved coverage would be available only to Optus customers in most instances, it would also help in emergencies – mobile network operators always connect 000 calls, regardless of who owns the nearest tower.

Until now, coverage at Mypolonga has been spotty at best.

Local Peter Angove told Murray Bridge News he was unable to use his smartphone to do a COVID check-in at either the school or general store.

Coffee van owner Analise Gates said she struggled to operate her EFTPOS machine whenever she set up at Mypo.

“We are reliant on mobile data to process transactions and often struggle to hold a secure connection, which makes it difficult to transact in what is quickly becoming a cashless society,” she said.

Federal black spot funding will help pay for the phone tower

The tower will be jointly funded by Optus and the state and federal governments after Mypolonga was identified as a black spot for mobile coverage.

Its construction was promised by former Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Minister Bridget McKenzie in 2019.

For anyone worried about electromagnetic radiation: consultants SAG projected that the tower would expose nearby residents to just 0.4 per cent of the safe limit set by the federal government.

The only other transmission tower at Mypolonga is NBN Co’s wireless tower on Recreation Lane.

Members of the public will have a chance to give feedback on Optus’ plan before it is approved by the council.

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