POOR mobile phone coverage throughout the Biloela region isn't Telstra's mistake - instead, a customer using an illegal repeater is to blame.
To make the situation even more bitter, the customer has been contacted to remove the device but has refused, causing further reception disruptions to other customers.
A Telstra spokesperson said further action had been taken against the offender.
"We are aware of an external interference issue in the area and are pursuing the issue with the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) with a view to take action," the spokesperson said.
"People use repeaters to improve their own mobile signal but they may not realise that it's illegal or that it's also interfering with the mobile coverage for the wider community.
"The illegal use of a repeater can cause significant mobile coverage issues for local communities."
"Anyone illegally using mobile phone repeaters needs to be aware that their actions are breaking the law and potentially carries severe penalties," the Telstra spokesperson said.
According to Telstra, the illegal devices are readily available on the internet through online suppliers who falsely claim they are legal.
Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige said he encouraged the community to purchase legal devices through Telstra to address coverage issues.
He said the community needed to work together to get on the reception grid instead of resorting to illegal methods.
"The only thing we can do from a community point of view is report these people," he said.
"We can't fix this if we don't know where the problem is, so everybody needs to be on guard.
"These people out there are doing a disservice to the whole community."
Telstra is now selling a specialised repeater device which is legal to use on Telstra's network and specifically designed to not cause interference to other customers.
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