The Coalition’s Policy to Tackle Mobile Phone Black Spots

KEY COMMITMENTS

The Coalition is tackling mobile phone black spots.

We have a strong record of improving mobile phone coverage in regional and remote communities.

The Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Programme is already rolling out 499 new or upgraded mobile base stations around Australia, which will cover around 3,000 black spots nominated by the community.

The new and upgraded base stations will provide additional handheld coverage to 68,600 square kilometres and new external antenna coverage to over 150,000 square kilometres. Over 5,700 kilometres of major transport routes will receive new handheld or external antenna coverage.

This is the most significant one-time increase in mobile network coverage to regional and remote Australia delivered by a single public funding programme in the history of mobile communications in Australia.

The Coalition’s initial $100 million investment leveraged a further $285 million in co-contributions from mobile network operators, state governments, local governments, businesses and community organisations.

Due to the ongoing community demand for improved mobile coverage, the Coalition committed an additional $60 million last year to fix more black spots around the country.

And we will do more.

If re-elected, the Coalition will invest a further $60 million in the Mobile Black Spot Programme, building on our recent $160 million investment.

This new commitment brings our total funding to tackle mobile black spots to $220 million since the Coalition was elected in 2013.

The Coalition’s substantial additional investment will further meet unmet demand and provide coverage to more black spot locations around regional and remote Australia.

OUR PLAN TO TACKLE MOBILE PHONE BLACK SPOTS

The Coalition is tackling mobile phone black spots.

We will invest an additional $60 million to further tackle mobile phone black spots, bringing the Coalition’s total investment in fixing mobile phone black spots to $220 million.

Our commitment will build on the success of the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Programme, which is already rolling out 499 new or upgraded mobile base stations, covering around 3,000 black spots in regional and remote communities.

The additional $60 million will target priority black spot locations that have not previously received funding under the Programme, as well as locations that have been overlooked by mobile network operators because they are uncommercial.

We are committed to improving mobile coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems such as areas with high seasonal demand.

Our commitment to invest additional Commonwealth funds means that the work done under the Programme to date – in identifying priority locations, engaging with mobile network operators Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and other industry participants, and in canvassing local councils and state governments for their support – can be leveraged to roll out the additional funding efficiently.

We expect Commonwealth funding will again leverage additional investment from mobile network operators, state governments, local governments, businesses and community organisations. To date, every $1 of Commonwealth funds has leveraged nearly $3 of contributions from other sources.

Under the Coalition’s plan, improved mobile phone coverage will enhance productivity in regional and remote Australia. Public safety will be enhanced with improved mobile phone coverage in disaster prone areas and along major transport routes.

The Coalition’s additional investment will further meet unmet demand and provide coverage to more black spot locations around Australia.

The Coalition’s $220 million plan to address mobile phone black spots will ensure regional and remote communities have access to wider and more reliable mobile phone coverage.

THE CHOICE

There is strong community demand for improved mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia – but the previous Labor Government failed to allocate a single dollar of public funds to address this problem.

By contrast, the Coalition is working hard to improve mobile services in regional and remote Australia.

It was Kevin Rudd who abolished the Coalition’s $2.4 billion Communications Fund in Labor’s 2008-09 Budget. The Communications Fund was established by the Howard Government to support telecommunications in rural, regional and remote parts of Australia.

It was the Howard Government that introduced the Mobile Phones on Highways programme in 2000 and the Regional Mobile Phone programme in 2003.

Despite spending millions of taxpayer dollars on NBN fixed-wireless towers, under Labor very few NBN towers were used to offer co-location for mobile services – under the Coalition this has increased substantially.

The Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Programme is delivering better telecommunications services for regional and remote communities.

We are already delivering 499 new or upgraded mobile base stations around Australia, covering around 3,000 black spots nominated by the community.

Every $1 of Commonwealth funds has leveraged nearly $3 of contributions from other sources.

Our commitment to invest a further $60 million if re-elected shows that this work will continue.

Only the Coalition can be trusted to ensure regional and remote communities have access to wider and more reliable mobile phone coverage.

COSTS

The Coalition will invest an additional $60 million to further tackle mobile phone black spots, bringing the Coalition’s total investment in fixing mobile phone black spots to $220 million.

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The Coalition’s Policy To Tackle Mobile Phone Black Spots

If re-elected, the Coalition will invest a further $60 million in the Mobile Black Spot Programme, building on our recent $160 million investment. This new commitment brings our total funding to tackle mobile black spots to $220 million since the Coalition was elected in 2013.