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Eliminating Mobile Black Spots

The Australian Local Government Associations Federal Election Initiatives included support for communities on their digital transformation journeys. This week has seen the Minister for Regional Services and Deputy Leader of the Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie announce a number of initiatives to improve mobile coverage.

The first announcement included commitment to delivering 180 new base stations under Round 4 of the Liberal National Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

This includes 73 base stations specifically targeting coverage issues at public interest premises, such as health and emergency services facilities.

Shortly after Round 4 base station announcements, Senator McKenzie announced new pre-budget investments as part of the Liberals and Nationals response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, which examined the communication needs of people living in the bush.

In response to the report, the Liberal and Nationals Government will provide an additional $220 million for Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package to address these issues. The package includes:

  • $160 million for two new rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program
  • $60 million for a new Regional Connectivity Program
  • A digital tech hub to improve digital literacy

The committee made recommendations to improve the experience of the National Broadband Network (NBN) for Australians in regional, rural and remote areas. The Government is working closely with NBN Co on these recommendations.

The independent review is conducted every three years to examine how people are using telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia.

The review held 22 regional public consultations nationwide, from Griffith to Cairns and Kalgoorlie to Katherine. More than 380 submissions were received.

The Government’s response is available on the Department of Communications and the Arts website at https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your-say/2018-regional-telecommunications-review.

For more information on the review visit www.rtirc.gov.au.