Mobile blackspot program lives on with $160m for two more rounds

Mobile blackspot program lives on with $160m for two more rounds


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Senator Bridget McKenzie. Photo AAP / Dean Lewins.

Senator Bridget McKenzie. Photo AAP / Dean Lewins.

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Federal government extends co-funding of new mobile towers, targeting public sites.

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The federal government's Mobile Blackspot Program is being extended across two more rounds, following a $160 million funding announcement from Deputy Nationals Leader and Regional Services Minister Bridget McKenzie today. 

"Rounds five and six will have a strong focus on improving mobile coverage in our regions at Public Interest Premises which benefit the community such as medical facilities, schools and economic centres," Senator McKenzie said.

The Mobile Blackspot program was created with a $220m funding endowment, which expired with yesterday's announcement of $25m towards Round Four building which is expected to build 180 new towers.

The government will consult with stakeholders on the locations of new towers under Round Five.

Reliable mobile coverage is set to reach thousands more Australians in regional and remote areas with the Liberal and Nationals Government today announcing an additional $160 million for two new funding rounds of the highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program.

These two new pre-Budget funding rounds brings the Liberal and Nationals Government's total program commitment to $380 million.

Minister for Regional Services and Deputy Leader Senator Bridget McKenzie said the announcement will boost the program, addressing connectivity issues for many more communities who have been calling out for better coverage.

"Fast and reliable connectivity is essential to ensure regional areas remain competitive with access to the same business and study opportunities as the rest of Australia. We're ensuring our regions are not left behind," Senator McKenzie said.

"All stakeholders are strongly encouraged to submit an application when we open the tender process and take advantage of the additional rounds under this fantastic program."

Senator McKenzie also announced a new policy, the $60m Regional Connectivity program targeting local priorities.

She said the program would complement the government's investments in the NBN and Mobile Black Spot Program.

It will target locations of high economic, public safety or social value that are outside the NBN fixed line footprint, are serviced by Sky Muster satellite and where better connectivity would benefit the local region. 

For more information: www.communications.gov.au/mbsp

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