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MEDIA RELEASE - Poor network services in remote communities not being addressed

10 December 2021

West Arnhem Regional Council Mayor Matthew Ryan is sending yet another plea to the Northern Territory and Australian Governments to address poor telecommunications in remote communities as a matter of urgency.

Mayor Ryan, a community leader in Maningrida, says he is frustrated with the inaction surrounding this recurring issue on the back of yet another Telstra outage in Maningrida earlier this week.

“The problems with Telstra in our remote communities in the Territory are not being taken seriously by our governments. I’m speaking on behalf of our communities and our people now – we deserve reliable phone services, it’s as simple as that,” Mayor Ryan said. 

The West Arnhem Land community of Warruwi, located on South Goulburn Island, has experienced at least one Telstra interruption every month since January 2021. One of these network outages, which affected all services to the island of approximately 400 people, lasted for eight days. 

Every time these services fail, residents feel they receive little information and “a whole lot of excuses”.

“They don’t understand, every time there is a Telstra outage, our people can’t access money to buy food or fuel. Our shops can’t open and we can’t contact our loved ones.”

Mayor Ryan is again calling for a proactive push from Telstra, the Northern Territory Government and the Australian Government to improve telecommunications infrastructure in remote communities now.