More Australians than ever before are accessing better mobile coverage in regional areas, thanks to the Liberal-National Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said more than 700 new or improved mobile base stations were now on air thanks to the program.
‘This milestone is an impressive achievement with the new coverage not only helping people to connect, but also significantly boosting our regional economy,’ Minister Fletcher said.
‘The first four rounds of the highly successful program will deliver 1047 new base stations in areas that are not commercially viable without Commonwealth investment.’
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, said Telstra had today activated its 600th base station under the program, with the remainder delivered by Optus and Vodafone.
‘The Mobile Black Spot Program is a terrific example of what can be achieved when the Federal Government, mobile industry, state and local governments, local businesses and communities work together.’
Minister Coulton said the program was ongoing proof that the Government was committed to improving mobile coverage for regional Australians.
‘The program helps people to stay connected with family and friends, undertake business, access education services and improve safety,’ Minister Coulton said.
‘More than 20,000 Triple Zero emergency calls have been made possible through these towers being online and local community groups can engage directly with mobile networks to make them aware of the coverage issues in their area.’
Under the first four rounds of the program, the Coalition Government’s commitment has generated investment of more than $760 million, with an additional $160 million in new funding for rounds five and six of the program announced earlier this year.
Funding for Round 6 commences from July 2020.