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Mobile and internet woes frustrate farmers

NSW farmers are being forced to climb trees, on top of sheds or drive kilometres from home to get a decent mobile phone signal.

A survey of more than 600 farmers reveals mobile and internet access continues to be a major headache for those living in the bush.

The results show 86 per cent have intermittent or non-existent mobile phone coverage in their area and a similar number have limited internet connection.

"Farmers have taken their office into the farm now, you can't be going home to make calls on your landline to trade contracts, to buy grain, to auction sheep," NSW Farmers telecommunications spokesman Anthony Gibson said.

"You need to be in contact with your agents and advisers a lot more often now and time means money."

He said the lack of reliable access posed a safety concern for many farmers working alone in isolated areas.

"In a bushfire, emergency services will send out SMS blasts to all the people in the affected area to give them a warning, but if you haven't got a mobile phone signal it's useless," he said.

Mr Gibson said the federal government's $100 million commitment to address mobile phone black spots was only the first step in solving the problem.

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