$25m for mo­bile black spots

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE -

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley has wel­comed the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s plan to al­lo­cate more fund­ing to­wards elim­i­nat­ing mo­bile phone blackspots.

Min­is­ter for Re­gional Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Brid­get McKen­zie yes­ter­day an­nounced $25 mil­lion for a fourth round of the Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram, de­liv­er­ing bet­ter cov­er­age to re­gional and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

Ms Ley said the new round demon­strates the Coali­tion’s com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing re­gional Aus­tralia has im­prov­ing ac­cess to 21st cen­tury com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“I en­cour­age lo­cal res­i­dents, busi­nesses and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to en­gage with their state and lo­cal coun­cil through the con­sul­ta­tion process, to en­hance cov­er­age out­comes in Far­rer,” Ms Ley said.

“This is a very much a shared is­sue across all lev­els of gov­ern­ment, with NSW re­cently an­nounc­ing $50m from its Con­nect­ing Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ties Fund to in­vest in com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture. It is cer­tainly my hope we can com­bine some of that fund­ing to cover some of the nu­mer­ous cov­er­age gaps re­main­ing in Far­rer.”

Se­na­tor McKen­zie said the lat­est fund­ing round will call for ap­pli­ca­tions from mo­bile car­ri­ers within the com­ing months, tak­ing in­put from state, ter­ri­tory and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, as well as busi­nesses, com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and emer­gency ser­vices.

“The Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram is al­ready over half­way com­plete and is on track to de­liver 867 base stations na­tion­wide by June 2019.”

The com­pet­i­tive se­lec­tion process for round four of the pro­gram is ex­pected to com­mence through the sec­ond half of 2018. More de­tails is at www.com­mu­ni­ca­tions.gov.au/mbsp

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