23 Jul 2021

The New England is to benefit from new and improved mobile coverage thanks to Round 5A of the Australian Government’s highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce welcomed the news that six mobile black spots in New England are set to be addressed under this round of the Program.

“Macrocells will be constructed at Glen Elgin, Mole River Exchange, Tenterfield, Watsons Creek and Woods Reef Exchange with a further Small Cell at Bukkulla, north of Inverell,” Mr Joyce said.

“These new installations are in addition to 45 new and upgraded towers which have already been installed in New England, following strong lobbying on your behalf – and I will continue to work hard for improved services across the New England.

“The six new sites are set to provide improved mobile coverage for the local community, allowing visitors and locals alike to stay connected, access education services, conduct business and remain in contact with family and friends,” Mr Joyce said.

“I look forward to working with Telstra so that building the new infrastructure can get underway and the community can benefit from improved coverage.”

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator Bridget McKenzie, announced the Government has committed $20.5 million to fund 67 new mobile base stations across Australia.

“This announcement brings the total number of base stations being funded under our Mobile Black Spot Program to over 1,270, representing a total investment of over $875 million,” Senator McKenzie said.

“These base stations will improve coverage in disaster prone areas, along major transport corridors and trial new approaches to delivering coverage.

“The 67 base stations funded under Round 5A across regional and remote Australia will collectively deliver over 12,000 square kilometres of new and improved handheld coverage. The Government is committed to continuing to work with industry, and state and local governments to improve mobile coverage and connectivity across Australia.”

Senator McKenzie said a key priority of Round 5A is to test new approaches to supporting improved mobile coverage.

“The Liberals and Nationals Government encourage mobile network operators to deploy shared mobile infrastructure to reduce cost and provide new coverage from more than one carrier,” Senator McKenzie said.

“Round 5A includes funding for a trial solution of seven base stations from Thargomindah to Waihora in Queensland, including at East Thargo, Dynevor Downs, Bulloo, Paroo and Eulo that will allow all mobile network operators to provide services.”

“Access to 21st century communications is an essential service for all Australians no matter where they live”, Senator McKenzie said.

The full list of base stations funded under Round 5A of the MBSP is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

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