The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has welcomed the announcement by the Australian Government that the Mobile Blackspots Program will deliver a further 266 base stations to areas where mobile coverage is needed.
The $60 million investment in Round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Program will deliver another 266 new and upgraded mobile base stations in regional Australia, covering some 1,400 black spots.
New or upgraded tower numbers by state and territory are: NSW (39), Victoria (32), Queensland (76), Western Australia (78), South Australia (20), Tasmania (6) and Northern Territory (15).
National Farmers' Federation President, Fiona Simson has welcomed the announcement.
"The NFF are supporters of this program given that many of our members continue to endure a lack of mobile network coverage, or no coverage at all. This announcement is a positive step to improve the situation and one that we sincerely welcome," NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“On Wednesday we were proud to announce that we have joined with other like-minded advocacy groups to end the data drought by forming the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition. This Coalition will champion better communications services for consumers and small businesses living in rural, remote or regional areas. One of the outcomes the group is seeking is long term public funding for open access mobile network expansion in rural and regional Australia.
"The mobile blackspots program represents the type of co-investment model that is needed to further mobile coverage in the bush. We urge the Australian Government and its partners to commit beyond Round Three of the program.
“Our members include some of the most innovative businesses and individuals in Australia. Yet we remain locked out of future economic growth and prosperity through the digital divide which is undermining Australia’s productivity.
“Without leadership and change, Australia risks growing and entrenching the digital divide between urban and rural telecommunications users. We risk undermining the opportunities presented by digital innovation to the farming community and rural Australia as a whole,” Ms Simson concluded.
To see if a black spot in your area has been funded in this round, check your area on the national map below.