Australians living in the regions will continue to benefit from expanded mobile coverage and more reliable mobile communications in times of natural disaster under the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Greater access to mobile services in regional Australia improve the ability to keep in contact with family and friends; allow better access by farmers to online services and help local businesses grow by making these areas more attractive to tourists.
The Liberal National Government is pleased to announce the commencement of the application process for Round 4 of the Mobile Black Spot Program. Mobile Network Operators and Infrastructure Providers are encouraged to apply to deliver coverage to further eliminate mobile black spots in the regions.
The Government announced earlier this year $25 million in Commonwealth funding for Round 4 of the Program, to deliver more coverage to regional and remote communities across Australia.
Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said this is another important step forward for the Program which is already providing new and improved coverage to thousands of homes and businesses across Australia. Round 4 will include Public Interest Premises (PIPs). PIPs include economic centres, emergency service facilities, local government facilities, health and educational facilities, indigenous community organisations and not-for-profit organisations.
“This milestone reaffirms this Government’s commitment to delivering 21st century communications for our regions. It’s fantastic to see that our program has already helped improve the lives of so many. Mobile coverage is no longer just nice to have – it’s essential. People in regional areas should not be left behind,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The 867 base stations we’re delivering under the first three rounds of the Program are making a real difference to so many communities, families and businesses across Australia, helping them to access the services they need.”
To date, the program has been highly successful, generating more than $680 million of new investment in mobile infrastructure including contributions from state and local governments, Mobile Network Operators, businesses and local communities.
“I urge Mobile Network Operators and Infrastructure Providers to apply and encourage all levels of government, community organisations and businesses to get on board.” Minister McKenzie said.
To support round 4, the Government recently re-opened the National Mobile Black Spot Database for nominations from local, state and territory governments and Federal Senators and Federal Members of Parliament. The Database closed on 11 October 2018, although locations not on the database can still be funded.
Applications will be assessed through a competitive process conducted by the Department of Communications and the Arts.
The application period for Round 4 closes on 10 December 2018 at 5.00pm AEST.
For more information visit: www.communications.gov.au/mbsp
Jonathan Hawkes I 0434 660 801 I Jonathan.Hawkes [at] health.gov.au
Alex Hall | 0407 743 752 | Alexandra.Hall [at] health.gov.au