Australians living and working in remote and rural areas now have more mobile coverage with the first towers funded under Round 5 of the Federal Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program now online.
Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Communications, Michael McCormack, said that the Federal Government, alongside Mobile Network Operators, is working hard to improve mobile coverage in regional and remote communities.
“Telstra has now switched on some of the first base stations delivered in Round 5 of the program and this new infrastructure will provide real benefits for rural Australians,” Mr McCormack said.
“We have funded more than 1,200 base stations in our highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program, with 905 sites now on air delivering coverage in some of the most hard-to-reach places in Australia.
“As regional MPs, we too know how frustrating it can be when you go to make a call or look up something and you’re unable to due to no coverage, so we’re working hard to address mobile black spots across every corner of regional Australia.”
Regional Communications Minister, Mark Coulton, said 182 new mobile base stations were funded under Round 5, including 33 at public interest premises and emergency services facilities.
“These first Round 5 sites to be switched on will provide new 4G mobile coverage in areas such as Gunpowder and Cooranga North in QLD, and Warnackes Quarantine Station located in the East Pilbara of WA on the NT border,” Mr Coulton said.
“These are satellite small cell sites, which are ideal for providing new and improved mobile services to isolated or remote locations and communities where a larger base station may not be technically or commercially viable to build.
“The new coverage delivered by these base stations will provide real safety, economic and social benefits to those who live, work or travel through these areas.”
The Federal Government recently launched Round 5A of the Mobile Black Spot Program, which has a specific focus on improving mobile coverage along major transport corridors and in disaster-prone regions. More than 900 base stations funded under the first five rounds are now operational.