Federal Nationals Leader David Littleproud has welcomed Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) findings that it’s technically feasible to allow mobile roaming during emergencies and natural disasters.
In its recently released Regional Mobile Infrastructure Inquiry final report, the ACCC determined it is technically feasible to activate temporary mobile roaming; however, the mobile network operators would need to make changes to their business processes, network, and operational systems.
As a result of these findings, Telstra announced plans to conduct its own trials to develop a system to allow people to use any available mobile network during natural disasters if their own provider’s services are unavailable.
Having been a long-time advocate for mobile roaming in regional areas, Mr Littleproud said the findings were a step in the right direction.
“From the time I entered Parliament, I have repeatedly called on Telstra to share their mobile towers through mandated roaming with other telcos so all users could have the same coverage in the bush,” Mr Littleproud said.
“These findings from the ACCC and subsequent trial from Telstra are a positive step, but more can be down to ensure people in rural Australia have access to mobile phone coverage, especially in times of emergency.
“It’s critical for safety and emergency responses, enabling better commerce, business and social interaction in areas of limited network coverage.”