THE Australian Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot Program has taken its next step in improving mobile coverage in regional and remote areas.
Last week, the formal selection process to determine regional locations of more than 250 new base stations began, with black spots in the Murraylands proclaimed eligible for funding proposals.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the program was about giving the local community what they wanted.
“I receive constant community feedback that action needs to be taken to fix mobile black spots (in) Barker,” he said.
“This is about delivering on the Coalition’s election commitment to boost mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia.”
Mobile network operators and infrastructure providers – including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – can start to prepare their proposals and bid for funding to provide new or improved service.
In their proposals, bidders will need to set out the locations where they intend to build new or upgraded base stations and specify the funding they seek from the government, the amount they will put in, and outline funding from any other sources.
The bidder will also need to give information about the coverage benefits the base station will offer.
“We estimate this $100 million of Commonwealth funding will leverage an additional $100 million in investment from bidders and other parties including state and local government – bringing total investment to $200 million,” Mr Pasin said.
“We aim to announce the locations of the base stations to be funded during the first half of 2015.
“We expect the first base stations under the program will begin to roll out in the second half of 2015.”
Bidders’ proposals must be lodged before March 16, 2015.
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