The Australian government awarded funding for 182 new base stations to operators as part of the fifth round of its mobile black spot programme aimed at addressing coverage issues across regional and remote communities.
The sites are expected to be rolled out in the coming months, with the first base stations to be operating by end-2020, and will include 33 sites targeting public interest premises, such as economic centres and emergency services facilities, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications said in a statement.
The federal government committed AUD380 million ($242 million) to the programme, which generated investments of more than AUD836 million, with plans to roll out a total of 1,229 base stations across the country. The programme is supported by contributions from state and local governments, businesses, local communities as well as operators.
Round 5A is planned to use the uncommitted funds from the last round, which only spent AUD36.8 million of the AUD80 million allocated.
The government also committed AUD80 million for a round 6.
In a statement, Optus said it secured funding to build 83 sites at a cost of AUD56.1 million, with AUD25.4 million in federal funding, AUD5.3 million from states and a co-contribution of AUD22.2 million from the operator.
Optus said it is rolling out more than 170 federal funded sites across Australia as part of the programme, with 95 Optus co-funded sites already live.
Market leader Telstra will build 97 under round 5, while Field Solutions Group will install two.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back