Feedback on the federal government’s Peri-Urban Mobile Program (PUMP) is being sought from community representatives and industry.
Announced as part of the 2021–22 federal Budget, the $16.4 million program will fund improve mobile connectivity in bushfire-prone areas on the peri-urban fringe, where suburbs encroach into bushland, potentially creating bushfire risks for those living and working in those areas.
Draft guidelines outlining the eligibility criteria for participants and activities under PUMP, the proposed assessment criteria, and the process for prospective applications can be found here.
Recent bushfires have shown increased community reliance on mobile phones during extreme events.
The Department of Transport, Infrastructure, Regional Development and Communications says improving mobile coverage in these areas will ensure people can receive vital information during emergencies, seek help if needed, and stay in touch with loved ones.
The consultation period ends on 27 August.