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Vodafone’s Mobile Black Spot Programme Investment

Providing better mobile coverage and choice for regional Australians is one of our core commitments at Vodafone, and we’re proud to be investing $20 million to build 70 mobile sites in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria by the end of 2017.

Providing better mobile coverage and choice for regional Australians is one of our core commitments at Vodafone, and we’re proud to be investing $20 million to build 70 mobile sites in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria by the end of 2017. 

For further details, Vodafone’s Mobile Black Spot Programme Rollout Schedule and Map can be found at Vodafone Regional Connect

This investment in regional areas would not have been possible without the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme which funds not only improvements in mobile coverage but also mobile competition in regional and remote areas where it is severely lacking. This investment will help boost employment opportunities and improve community safety while giving local consumers and businesses more choice. The new base stations are the result of local communities identifying areas of inadequate mobile coverage and, in many cases, working together to identify appropriate sites for new base stations that meet local planning needs, have ready access to power sources and are easily accessible.

The Government has committed $100 million through round 1 of the programme, which is delivering 499 new or upgraded mobile base stations across Australia. Additional commitments of funding of $60 million each for two further rounds of the Programme have also been announced.

Unfortunately, we have a unique situation in Australia where previous government funding arrangements have discouraged competition in regional areas. It means customers in many areas of regional Australia simply have no alternative to paying high prices for services because there is only one provider.

Vodafone is pleased the Federal Government has recognised that successful government initiatives deliver both coverage and choice for regional consumers. The Mobile Black Spot Programme’s combination of subsidised construction of mobile base stations with a requirement on the telco industry to work together to share this infrastructure is a major step forward.

Reconnecting Australia

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.

What you can do to help

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.

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