After 10 years of battling poor mobile reception, Spring Ridge residents are celebrating a win.
Last week, New England MP Barnaby Joyce announced new small cell base stations for Spring Ridge and Blackville under the Mobile Black Spot Program after telling the NVI in March that seven different locations around Spring Ridge had been nominated as mobile blackspots on the national database.
A spokesperson for Telstra said the stations for Spring Ridge and Blackville were "still in early stages of planning".
"We don't yet have any timeframes as to when or where these small cells will be installed," they said.
Poor internet and mobile service has been an ongoing battle for residents and the Spring Ridge's Local Advisory Group (LAG) flagged the issue with Liverpool Plains Shire Council in recent months, saying it was a safety concern and negatively impacting businesses. Black-outs worsen the situation and leave residents without services for days at a time.
LAG convenor Vicki Donnelly is thrilled with the recent announcement after sharing her concerns with the NVI in March.
"We're all really pleased to have this news and we're looking forward to a safer community with access to reliable mobile service," she said.
At the time, Ms Donnelly was the bookkeeper at Spring Ridge Engineering and said it was very difficult to operate when their systems went down.
The world wants to stay connected and when you can't be connected, it's an issue.Spring Ridge resident Rose Holland
Co-owner of the business, Rose Holland, echoed Ms Donnelly's comments on Friday, saying "business grinds to a halt" when the internet is down and they can only get mobile service in the office through WiFi.
"If our [WiFi] service goes down, Eftpos doesn't work ... and we have to walk customers out onto the road to get Eftpos done," Mrs Holland said.
"It's embarrassing. We've got a whole office set-up to conduct business and we have to go onto the road.
"At the moment our mobiles work through WiFi, so no WiFi means no mobile service [in the office]."
Mrs Holland said more mobile infrastructure "can only make things better".
"The world wants to stay connected and when you can't be connected, it's an issue."
Liverpool Plains Shire mayor Andrew Hope said he was pleased to see some movement on the issue.
"It's the first part of the step to address black spot issues and we're looking forward to doing more work to address the rest of them when we go through the process of finding where they are," he said.
The council is currently awaiting the results of its recent online questionnaire about mobile reception in the shire, which was issued through its new Telecommunications Outreach Program.