Residents of Parawa and surrounds will have improved phone coverage, with Optus switching on its 50th Mobile Black Spot tower at the corner of Parawa and Range Roads.
The project was co-funded by the state government and Optus as part of the federal government program.
District Council of Yankalilla mayor Glen Rowlands said talks to have improved coverage in the area had started about four years ago and he was glad to see it come to fruition.
“The high producing agricultural region of Parawa has had little to no mobile accessibility until now and I know that this new Optus tower will change the way we live and do business here,” he said.
“The Parawa community is going to be able to work better and attract staff to their businesses.”
Council chief executive Nigel Morris said it had been positive to work with Optus to make the project happen.
“They have been rather receptive and understand the importance of coverage for the community and safety,” he said.
Optus mobile planning manager Vin Mullins said the tower would provide significantly improved mobile reception around Parawa and along Range Road.
“There was absolutely no coverage in many pockets, but from what I’ve seen there’s now wide coverage,” he said.
“We recognise there is a lot of tourism and traffic around these parts.”
He said there was some delays in getting the tower up due to weather and normal process, but the help of the community had got it over the line.
“The SA government for behind it too, they saw a need for it; it was all forms of government coming together,” he said.
“The Yankalilla Council and community were instrumental in getting this site off the ground, knowing the positive impact dedicated mobile coverage would have on the area.
“The Parawa Progress Association and the Parawa Ag Bureau kept up the conversation, really.”
Optus is in talks with other telecommunications companies to see if they would like to use the tower to improve their coverage, Mr Mullins said.
“Part of the Mobile Black Spot Funding program is to work with other telcos,” he said.
“We welcome other telcos – it’s more cost effective.”