Boost for regional and rural mobile coverage

Beef Central, 26/07/2021

A $20.5 million Federal Government commitment to deliver 67 additional base station projects in the bush is another step in the right direction to improve connectivity.

Announced by Regional Communications minister Bridget McKenzie on Friday, the next chapter in the Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program will fund 67 new mobile base stations across Australia.

Electronic data collection.

The Government has committed to the Mobile Black Spot Program to invest in telecommunications infrastructure to improve mobile coverage and competition across Australia.

Friday’s announcement brings the total number of base stations funded under the program to more than 1270, representing a total investment of more than $875 million,” Minister McKenzie said.

The 67 base stations funded under Round 5A across regional and remote Australia will collectively deliver more than 12,000sq km of new and improved handheld coverage.

“These base stations will improve coverage in disaster-prone areas, along major transport corridors and trial new approaches to delivering coverage,” Sen Mckenzie said. “The Government is committed to continuing to work with industry and state and local governments to improve mobile coverage and connectivity across Australia.”

Round 5A includes funding for a trial solution of seven base stations from Thargomindah to Waihora in Queensland, including East Thargo, Dynevor Downs, Bulloo, Paroo and Eulo that will allow all mobile network operators to provide services. It also includes 30 Macro cell and Small cell base stations projects in NSW.”

Farmers need certainty of voice and data services

The Mobile Black Spot program was established to improve regional connectivity and is a co-contribution model with state and local governments, mobile network operators, businesses and local communities.

“Farmers need certainty of voice and data services as the agriculture sector leverages technology to improve food and fibre production and reach $30 billion in output by 2030,” NSW Farmers President James Jackson said.

“Rural and remote communities need certainty of connectivity to keep safe and undertake business transactions and that is why all 30 of these projects are important.”

“Visitors to Western NSW need certainty of coverage while travelling. That’s why the planning for four macro cell base stations on the Barrier Highway between Broken Hill and Nyngan is critical for visitors and locals alike.”

While the projects announced last week are welcome, Mr Jackson said there are many farmers across the State still in mobile blackspots.

“We had 870 regional, rural and remote residents respond to our recent telecommunications survey,” Mr Jackson said. “More than 78pc were either unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with their mobile service identifying poor coverage and lack of continuous access during voice calls as their major concerns.”

The Federal Minister’s announcement was an important step toward expanded and improved mobile coverage and connectivity, he said.

“We also call on Government and telecommunications providers to continue to listen to, and work closely with, mobile users to ensure they can best access technology improvements as they roll out. This includes ensuring certainty of ongoing funding for the Regional Tech Hub Service and expanding opportunities for shared access to infrastructure,” Mr Jackson said.

  • The full list of base stations funded under the latest Round 5A of the MBSP is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website – click here









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  1. James Bowie, 27/07/2021

    Wonder if any is earmarked for SW WA? Our coverage is getting worse – not better!

    • Natasha Wing, 27/07/2021

      I hear you James, I would like to know how many people are in the same boat in regards to their reception getting worse?!

      Our reception on most of the property was pretty good however in the last 2 years it is back to what it was over 20 years ago, yet no one seems to be able to provide answers and the pollies have just hand-balled my questions from one to the next.

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