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The programme

What is the Mobile Black Spot Programme?

The Mobile Black Spot Programme is an Australian Government initiative to extend mobile phone coverage and competition in regional, remote and outer metropolitan areas. The programme will improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems. The programme will invest in telecommunications network infrastructure to improve mobile phone coverage and competition in the provision of these services.

How much funding has been committed to the programme?

The Government has committed $100 million (GST exclusive) over four years to the delivery of the Mobile Black Spot Programme. The Government's investment is expected to generate an additional $100 million of funding from industry, local and state governments, and communities.

How many mobile phone towers will the programme provide?

The Mobile Black Spot Programme is expected to provide around 250-300 new or upgraded mobile base stations across Australia, depending on the level of co-contributions that can be attracted.

Who is eligible for funding?

To be eligible for funding under the Mobile Black Spot Programme, an applicant must be a national Mobile Network Operator or a Mobile Network Infrastructure Provider. The Programme Guidelines provide information regarding eligibility criteria.

What is the Department doing with the mobile black spot nominations?

From December 2013, the Department of Communications received information on more than 6,000 locations with poor or no mobile coverage. These locations have been included in a database that will be shared with mobile network operators and infrastructure providers to assist them in preparing funding proposals for the Mobile Black Spot Programme.

The database of mobile black spot locations has now closed.

What are the next steps?

On 8 December the Government released the Programme Guidelines, which are available on the Department’s website at www.communications.gov.au/mobile_services/mobile_black_spot_programme.

The application period is now open to eligible applicants. It is expected that successful applicants and locations will be announced in the first half of 2015.

Can I register to receive information about the programme?

Yes, you can register to receive information about the programme by emailing the Department of Communications at mobilecoverage@communications.gov.au and request to be added to the mailing list to receive programme updates.

Who do I contact about the programme?

Enquiries about the Mobile Black Spot Programme can be emailed to the Department of Communications at mobilecoverage@communications.gov.au.

The Discussion Paper

What was the purpose of the discussion paper?

The purpose of the Mobile Black Spot Programme discussion paper was to obtain the views of stakeholders, including communities, industry, state and local governments, businesses and other interested stakeholders, on the best way to deliver the programme.

The closing date for lodging submissions was 28 February 2014.

There was strong interest in the discussion paper, with approximately 170 submissions commenting on the design of the programme. Submissions have been made available to view at www.communications.gov.au/mobile_services/mobile_black_spot_programme/Mobile_Black_Spot_Programme_discussion_paper subject to requests to maintain confidentiality.

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