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Donnybrook becoming a black spot for mobiles

CAN ANYONE HEAR US? Victor and Val Ashton are frustrated by patchy mobile phone reception at Donnybrook.
CAN ANYONE HEAR US? Victor and Val Ashton are frustrated by patchy mobile phone reception at Donnybrook. Jorge Branco

FOR Victor and Val Ashton and most other Donnybrook residents, mobile phones are a long way from the modern convenience most people see them as.

When Vic's mobile phone rings the first thing he does is head outside to make sure he can hear more than the first couple of words before the line drops out.

Even then he doesn't always have any luck.

The 76-year-old is a diabetic who has his levels monitored by a special machine.

The results are meant to be sent to a doctor in Sydney every day via a cellular connection but they often don't send for days at a time.

"It's not critical for me because I can just pick up the landline and ring the doctor," he said.

"But it's (mobile phone reception) pretty bad.

"You see people walking 'round the street or out around the front gate when they want to ring on the mobile."

A solution could be on the way but it's not likely to help the landline-locked residents of Donnybrook before the end of the year.

Earlier this year, resident Brian Brodie collected almost 100 signatures in a petition on the issue that he handed to Member for Longman Wyatt Roy.

That doesn't sound like much but according to the 2011 census, Donnybrook only has 461 residents.

Mr Roy included the petition and similar complaints from residents of Mt Mee, Caboolture and other areas in a submission to the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program- a $100 million project to improve reception along major transport routes and in small communities and natural-disaster-prone areas.

"It's basically the government directly investing in the infrastructure that the telcos can use," he said.

Mr Roy said he was hoping to hear which black spots would receive funding by "mid next year at the latest".

A representative from Telstra visited the area last week to look at ways to improve coverage.

Topics:  black spot, diabetes, mobile


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