Patchy mobile phone coverage in 42 areas around the country will soon be improved, as the Albanese government makes good on one of its key election promises.
A total of $66m from Commonwealth funding and industry co-investment will be spent on building 41 new base stations across Australia to improve mobile coverage at dozens of target locations with “unreliable service”.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the government was delivering on its “ambitious agenda to narrow the digital divide” and had accepted all value for money recommendations made by the department.
Every state and Jervis Bay will benefit from the latest round of funding, including tourist hotspots like Kangaroo Valley, the Princes Hwy between Batemans Bay and Eden, and the Snowy Mountains Hwy.
“These successful grant outcomes will deliver improved coverage and quality of service for regional and remote communities, motorists and tourists in 42 target areas,” Ms Rowland said.
“We identified these communities as having unreliable service or coverage issues when we were in Opposition and now we’re delivering.”
While the government will not give funding to four locations that applied for funding, the government says they will receive coverage improvements through other projects.
“The improving mobile coverage round is a small part of our government’s work to improve regional communications, and comes in addition to our $1.1bn better connectivity plan – the most significant investment in regional communications since the inception of the NBN,” Ms Rowland said.
The improving mobile coverage round was funded in the October 2022 budget.