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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Consent for Telstra’s microcell declined based on the results of the LHIB connectivity survey

Community feedback on the enhanced short-term communication options for Lord Howe Island (LHI) was collected in November 2023.

The survey outcomes indicated that a majority of residents prefer maintaining the island’s distinct way of life regarding connectivity. Many respondents feel that it’s better to wait for future technology advancements rather than invest in a short-term solution.

Based on the results of LHIB’s online survey and responses to the connectivity proposal, the LHI Board reviewed the following next steps at the December 2023 Board Meeting:

  • Decline Owners Consent for installing a Microcell under the blackspot program, refrain from using grant resources for additional Microcell installations and await future technology like 5G advanced/6G on Lord Howe Island.
  • Reassess the communications landscape in 2-3 years to identify any communication gaps post the introduction of 5G Advanced/6G. LHIB can explore future grants to address any deficiencies identified.
  • Permit market forces to independently install and operate public Wi-Fi.
  • Seek a variance to the SCCF round 5 grant and consider reallocating the remaining funds to other projects meeting fund requirements.

The recommendation to decline the Owner’s Consent for Telstra to install a microcell on Lord Howe Island as part of the Blackspot program was endorsed.

The survey also endorsed the notion that the market (e.g., Telstra/independent operators) should address demands for improved connectivity rather than LHIB.

Future national infrastructure such as 5G Advanced/6G is anticipated to be accessible to the Island from mid-late 2025.

For queries regarding the survey results, contact Senior Project Officer Darcelle Matassoni at Darcelle.Matassoni@lhib.nsw.gov.au.

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