Australia’s government opened the next round of a mobile black spot coverage programme for applications, and released guidelines for the initiative aimed at improving coverage across regional and remote areas.
Mark Coulton, minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, said during a Regional Australia Institute webinar round 5A of the programme aims to support new ways of delivering mobile services to locations which have traditionally been less economic for mobile operators, and giving consumers more choice to increase competition.
He said there will be a specific focus on improving mobile coverage along major transport corridors and in disaster-prone regions. Findings from round 5A will help to design the sixth round, funding for which was committed in the fiscal 2019 to 2020 budget.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the government continues to work with industry, state and local governments to improve connectivity.
“Improving mobile coverage in natural disaster-prone areas is critical for keeping people connected during times of emergency.”
The government will contribute up to AUD34.5 million ($25.3 million) for round 5A, drawn from unused funding from the previous round.
In April, the government awarded funding for 182 base stations to operators as part of the fifth round.
Since 2013, the government committed AUD380 million to the programme, funding the rollout of 1,200 base stations.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back