Call for community input to regional mobile coverage program

The Government has taken the first step towards improved mobile coverage in many areas of regional Australia and locals are asked to have their say to inform the discussion.

Feedback is being sought on how to structure the $100 million regional mobile coverage program.

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said inadequate mobile phone coverage is a significant concern for regional communities.

“Lives can depend on accessing mobile phone networks in emergencies, so expanding mobile phone coverage has clear benefits to public safety – as well as to the productive capacity of regional communities,” Mrs Marino said.

“The Government is keen to hear from residents, businesses, community leaders and other levels of government in regional and remote communities.

“This discussion paper is an opportunity for residents and community leaders to provide input on this important program and to help make sure that their areas in need gets a fair share of the money.”

The funding has two elements:

  • The $80 million Mobile Network Expansion      Project will improve mobile coverage along major transport routes, in      small communities and in areas that are prone to experiencing natural      disasters
  • The $20 million Mobile Black Spot Project will      improve mobile coverage in locations with unique coverage problems such as      areas with high demand for services

The discussion paper is available from the Department of Communications’ website at http://www.communications.gov.au/mobile_services/mobile_coverage_programme

The closing date for submissions is February 28, 2014.