Communications Survey - Preliminary Results

dougkFri, 10/04/2015 - 9:16pm

Thanks again to all those residents who have completed the telecommunications survey over the past 2-3 weeks. The full analysis is not yet complete and some additional completed surveys are still coming in, but here is a brief outline of some points already evident.

For the survey, we divided the Cove into 4 zones because it was clear that experiences differ depending on where you are in the Cove.

TV reception:
As noted in an earlier article, the Government's MySwitch website says of North Arm Cove ...

  • This is a moderate predicted coverage area.
  • You may have difficulties receiving some or all digital channels.
  • You may see regular pixelation on some of the digital channels.
  • Some digital channels may also freeze or become unavailable for long periods of time!

Sadly for many residents, primarily (but not exclusively) located in Zones A and B, this assessment above is only too accurate. There were just a few responses from Zones A & B that rated their free-to-air TV reception as good! Some who rated reception as mostly okay still described periods of unexplained outages. A clear majority from these zones described their reception as either patchy or unreliable.

There seems to be no consistent pattern to the problems although there are many theories.

Radio Reception:

Both AM & FM reception was rated as poor by most respondents from Zones A & B. AM reception was even worse than TV with a significant number reporting no AM reception at all. Again most, but not all, of those from Zones C & D reported reception as good or mostly okay - although AM reception was rated lower. Problems with AM reception in the Cove are of concern given that the AM station ABC1233 is what we are told we should listen to for bushfire information.

Mobile Reception:

Again it is Zones A & B which suffer the most from poor mobile reception with a majority of respondents from these areas reporting either unreliable or non-existent coverage within their homes and poor reception outdoors. A few residents in these areas did have good or mostly okay coverage. Some residents in Zones C & D also had quite poor experiences with mobile reception. No carrier seemed exempt from these problems – although, depending where you are in the Cove, one carrier may be better than another.

Internet reception:

For most residents in the Cove this was rated as mostly okay or good. (We did have a recent ADSL outage of about 18 hours.) However a few residents do not have a landline and rely on mobile for Internet access which they reported as being unreliable.

Clearly many Cove residents, in Zones A and B in particular, have serious problems with TV, AM and FM reception - and mobile coverage is a widespread problem across the Cove. It would be nice to see some action that addresses these problems. The information and comments included on the surveys will certainly help us pursue improvements in telecommunications in the Cove.


Thank you to all our sponsors including