WEST Wodonga is finally set to benefit from faster internet download speeds and greater mobile phone coverage after an almost two-year wait for a second phone tower.
The new pole being erected at Birallee Park will be in operation next month.
Telstra and Optus are working on the 30-metre tower on the corner of Marshall Street and Silva Drive, between the Birallee sporting fields.
It is the second tower for West Wodonga.
The other was built on the Wodonga golf course three months ago.
Telstra Country Wide area general manager Steve Tinker said there was an urgent need for the two towers in West Wodonga.
“The base station that supplies the area is a fair way away,” he said.
“This will provide a greater in-building coverage so residents can access faster data speed when using their smart phones inside.”
Mr Tinker said data usage had more than doubled in a year, with a big increase in the number of people using smart phones and tablets adding to the stress on the network.
“The demand for speed is always growing,” he said.
“People are using more smart phones these days and they are also using their technology while travelling in cars,” he said.
“There is a lot of terrain in West Wodonga and, with the greater capacity comes dropouts, caused by the increased traffic. This is what we are looking to fix.”
A meeting was held last year to allay any fears about the towers. Homes also received information in their letterboxes about the towers.
Mr Tinker said much thought had gone into siting the tower.
“It is set back from the road and has several high trees providing partial screening of it,” he said.
Mr Tinker said there were no immediate plans for more towers in Wodonga.
“There are no plans at this stage but Telstra is always looking at ways to provide a premium service,” he said.