RESIDENTS, and visitors travelling through Moonan Flat, will now have better phone service to make calls, browse the internet and stay connected with family and friends, thanks to the federal government's Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).
The new mobile base station, being turned on this week, will significantly improve phone service along Hunter Road in the Upper Hunter township.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce said he was pleased that more locals and businesses would now have better coverage.
"My constituents have raised the need for mobile service in the Upper Hunter and I'm pleased to be part of a government that is listening and delivering," he explained.
"The new small cell mobile base station was completed by Telstra and is the latest of 45 sites across the New England to receive new or improved mobile coverage under the program.
"I know how much this service means for the Post Office, the pub and café in the village.
"It not only helps local people run their businesses, it also keeps us safe and connects the furthest reaches of our electorate.
"This is real delivery for people in the Upper Hunter and New England."
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said the switch-on of the new mobile base station at Moonan Flat reflected the government's commitment to further improving connectivity in rural regions.
"This significant investment as part of the Mobile Black Spot Program means that people living, working and travelling in the New England will now have better mobile coverage," he added.
"This is especially important following this summer's devastating bushfires.
"The first five rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program are funding 1229 mobile base stations around Australia, with more than 850 of these already on air and providing much needed mobile connectivity to rural and regional areas."
The Telstra small cell at Moonan Flat is the 853rd MBSP base station to be switched on, and the 34th in the New England electorate.
It was jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Telstra under round four of the MBSP.
More information about the program is available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp