Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for Communications

Minister for the Arts

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Coalition delivers on first mobile base stations

19 December 2015

The first mobile base stations constructed under the Commonwealth Government's $385 million Mobile Black Spot Programme were switched on this week, with more new base stations to come online in coming weeks.

Fulfilling a commitment, new mobile base stations were switched on in Marlborough and Quilpie in Queensland and Deniliquin in New South Wales, with an additional base station in New South Wales due to be switched on next week.

"The Mobile Black Spot Programme has reached a significant milestone by delivering on the first of 499 new and upgraded mobile base stations in regional and remote areas," Minister Fifield said.

"In the coming months, more base stations across Australia will come online, funded through Round 1 of the programme which will provide new or upgraded mobile coverage to some 3,000 nominated mobile black spots announced in June 2015."

The Mobile Black Spot Programme represents the largest one-time increase in mobile network coverage delivered by a single public funding programme in the history of mobile communications in Australia. The locations of the new or upgraded base stations for Round 1 were selected following an extensive public consultation process which allowed members of the public to nominate mobile black spot locations in regional and remote areas.

These new and upgraded base stations to be built will provide new handheld coverage to 68,600 square kilometres and new external antenna coverage to more than 150,000 square kilometres, and more than 5,700 kilometres of major transport routes will receive new handheld or external antenna coverage.

Black spot nominations for Round 2 of the Programme close by December 31st and can be made online at www.communications.gov.au/blackspots. The Government will invest an additional $60 million in improving mobile coverage for Round 2 of the programme, on top of its $100 million investment in Round 1.

A map of mobile black spot locations and the locations which will receive new or upgraded coverage under Round 1 of the programme is available at http://nationalmap.gov.au/

***Please note: radio grabs are available on request.

Media contact: Justine Sywak | 0448 448 487 | Justine.Sywak@communications.gov.au

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