Many of us living in regional Australia don't always have access to reliable mobile coverage, choice of provider, or both. Vodafone is determined to provide change.
We've announced an expansion of our regional mobile services by committing funding for 32 planned new mobile base stations in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia. This investment comes on top of the 70 base stations we are planning to build by the end of 2017 under round one of the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme.
Benoit Hanssen, Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer, says the $9 million Vodafone investment is another important step in offering increased mobile coverage and choice for regional Australians:
“Over recent years, we have invested billions of dollars in our network to deliver improved access to fast, reliable mobile services, and we want to offer more Australians the coverage and competition they need and deserve."
The 32 base stations are located at:
New South Wales (19): Coffs Harbour Park Beach, Coffs Harbour CBD, Coffs Harbour West, Toormina, Coffs Harbour Industrial, Coffs Harbour Jetty, Tamworth showgrounds, South Tamworth, West Tamworth, Taminda, Tamworth Golden Guitar, Coffs Harbour North, Berrigan, Yeoval, Cudal, Tallimba North, Rushes Creek, Bendemeer and Kootingal.
Queensland (7): Bundaberg East, Bundaberg North, Svensson Heights, Bargara, Elliots Heads, Burnett Heads and Drillham.
Western Australia (2): Carrabin, Burracoppin.
Tasmania (4): Myrtle Bank, Scottsdale, Campania and Ouse.
We know that further investment in regional mobile services could see billions of dollars of innovation and productivity benefits for regional Australia. From agriculture and small businesses to health and education, investment in mobile base stations is an investment in our country’s future.
Vodafone and stakeholders including the National Farmers’ Federation are continuing to advocate for improved regional telecommunications services, including a permanent Mobile Black Spot Programme.
The Australian Government holds the key to fast tracking this investment in Australia. Vodafone believes the $300 million in funding provided to Telstra every year under the Universal Service Obligation (USO) - to maintain its outdated copper network and payphones in regional areas where the NBN is being built - could be much better spent on improving regional mobile services.
With the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the current USO arrangements underway, we have a once in a generation opportunity to secure a better outcome for regional Australia.
We encourage you to read the Productivity Commission’s Issues Paper, provide your views, and register your interest to be kept informed about the progress of the inquiry and opportunities to provide further input.
Contact your local Member NOW and let them know you support a permanent Mobile Black Spot Programme for regional Australia.