Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, and Federal Member for Barker Tony MP, have called on telecommunication companies to tender for the Coalition’s ‘Priority Locations Round’ of the Mobile Black Spot Program, which will provide new or improved mobile coverage to Kalangadoo and Kybybolite.The Coalition Government has committed $60 million to address 106 priority locations across the country that have been identified as having poor or no mobile coverage, on top of the 765 locations already being addressed under the first two rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
In the electorate of Barker, seven mobile black spot locations are already being addressed under the first two rounds of the program, bringing new coverage to locations including Meribah and Paruna, Mindarie, Maggea, Wynarka, Pata, and Mundulla West.
Minister Fifield opened the priority round today, calling on telecommunication companies to participate in a tender to build new towers and improve coverage in these locations.
“The Coalition continues to deliver more coverage to rural, regional and remote Australia,” Minister Fifield said.
“We’re already delivering 765 towers which will provide coverage for 32,000 homes and businesses, and now we’ll deliver coverage to even more regional Australians.”
The Coalition Government expects the tender process to be finalised by the end of the year, with the rollout of successful towers to commence early in 2018.
Mr Pasin said that this process had been held up since these locations were announced last year while the ACCC undertook an inquiry into domestic mobile roaming. The final report was handed down in late October, removing uncertainty for the telecommunications companies and clearing the way to proceed with the priority location round of the Government program.
“I understand that that the communities in Kalangadoo and Kybybolite are frustrated with the time this is taking. It was certainly not anticipated to take this long, but I can assure them these towers will be built.
“The ‘priority round’ is different to the other rounds of the blackspot program because it identifies locations that would have not attracted private investment from telecommunications companies on their own.
“The Coalition Government has identified these locations and will ensure improved mobile coverage in these areas that would otherwise have missed out,” Mr Pasin said.
The program guidelines for the Priority Locations round are available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp
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