People living in rural and regional Australia have another month to have their say on the design of the next round of the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program.
Federal Member for Farrar Sussan Ley said when the outcomes of round five of the program were announced last month, a discussion paper was flagged to look at options for round 5A, to test a range of new approaches to help deliver mobile coverage where it is needed the most.
Ms Ley said there was $46 million on the table for round 5A, and a further $80 million committed for round six — so the Mobile Black Spot Program had plenty more to deliver.
“In order to do this, it’s vital we receive feedback on proposed changes from the people it affects the most — rural Australia,” she said.
The discussion paper proposes a series of changes to the eligibility guidelines for the program by improving coverage in areas prone to natural disasters including bushfires, major regional and remote transport corridors, and to trial new technology solutions in areas where a smaller population has discouraged applications in previous rounds.
“The Coalition Government understands the importance of connectivity to my communities, and we want to get on with the job of building more phone towers to deliver that coverage”, Ms Ley said.
The first five rounds of the program have generated more than $830 million total investment, funding 1229 new towers.
Community input is being taken until Friday, June 19 at: https://www.communications.gov.au/have-your-say/consultation-design-options-round-5a-mobile-black-spot-program