Mobile blackspot program round four to build 180 new towers

Mobile blackspot program round four to build 180 new towers


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With round four building of new mobile towers announced today, funding for the $220m Mobile Blackspot Program has been exhausted.

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Up to 180 mobile base stations are expected to be built with the last remaining $25 million of the federal government's $220m Mobile Blackspot Program.

The Black Spot Program co-funds telcos to build towers which are not commercially viable. It will build 1047 towers in total.

Rounds one and two included public submissions for priority locations.

Rounds three and four limited input to telcos, state, territory and local governments, as well as businesses, community organisations and emergency services.

Regional Services Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie announced the $25 million round four allocation in June last year, but did not specify the number of new towers to be built.

Of the 180 new round four towers, 73 will target coverage issues at public interest premises, such as health and emergency services facilities.

The base stations under the first three rounds are expected to be operational by 30 June 2019 and some round four towers are expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Regional stakeholder groups lobbied for more mobile blackspot funding last year, ahead of the federal budget, but were disappointed when the government declined to extend the $220m program.

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network chief executive Teresa Corbin welcomed the funding announcement.

"We are pleased to see that Senator McKenzie has continued to support our push for greater mobile connectivity in regional, rural and remote Australia in the latest round of the Mobile Black Spots Program," Ms Corbin said.

Senator McKenzie said the government's $25m to round would attract co-contributions worth $83m from state governments and telcos.

"Greater availability of mobile services is a big deal. It means staying safe in remote areas, keeping in contact with family and friends, unlocking access to online health and education services and increased tourism and business opportunities."

Visit: www.communications.gov.au/mbsp

The story Mobile blackspot program round four to build 180 new towers first appeared on Farm Online.

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