By Rebecca Peppiatt
RESIDENTS from Parkerville and surrounding areas are sick and tired of having no mobile phone reception and the risk it poses come fire season.
Harvey Browne, 71, recently moved to the area and has spent months contacting Telstra, the Ombudsmen and government departments to get something done about the lack of mobile phone signal in his home.
“I’m just getting the run around,” he said.
“They won’t even reply to an email.
“It’s a joke.”
Mr Browne lives on Dodington Place with his 87-year-old brother.
He says his mobile phone coverage is non-existent inside his house and that the internet drops in and out for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
“I wouldn’t get any fire alerts and neither would my neighbours,” he said.
“It’s dangerous, not to mention frustrating because we are literally 17km from Perth.”
Dani Tamati also lives in the area and four years ago moved her recruitment agency business, The Resources HUB, out of her home office and into Midland for the faster and more reliable NBN internet connection.
She estimates she spends well over $400 a month at home buying internet add-on packages because her family of six cannot cope with the minimal package options offered through Skymesh.
“I’ve lived there for 11 years and been through four or five fires where we’ve had to pack up the house,” she said.
“The only reason I knew the Parkerville/Stoneville fire was coming was because I walked outside my house and saw the plume of smoke coming.
“We can’t get any alerts because the signal is so terrible.”
Telstra regional manager Boyd Brown said there are 10 mobile sites in and around Parkerville that provide network coverage to the area and that Telstra constructed the nearby site at Stoneville under the Mobile Black Spot Program about 18 months ago which also provides coverage to the area.
Mr Brown said local residents experiencing issues should investigate the use of an approved signal booster.
A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications encouraged residents to engage with their local council over the issue.
“The Parkerville community are encouraged to work with their local council and the mobile network operators (MNOs) to make their mobile coverage concerns known,” he said.
“Experience has shown that when local communities and councils engage with the MNOs it increases the likelihood of an application being put forward under these programs.”
A new base station adjacent to Stoneville Road in the Parkerville area went live in October 2019.