The Australian Government is improving mobile phone coverage and competition in regional and remote Australia through the Mobile Black Spot Program.

The Government has committed $220 million to the Mobile Black Spot Program to invest in telecommunications infrastructure to improve mobile coverage and competition across Australia.

This is supported by co-contributions from state and local governments, mobile network operators (Optus, Telstra and Vodafone), businesses and local communities.

Under the first three rounds of the program (round 1, round 2 and the Priority Locations round), the Government's commitment has leveraged a total investment of more than $680 million, which is delivering a total of 867 new base stations across Australia.

For more information about these rounds, including information on how the locations of base stations were selected, see the Mobile Black Spot Program's FAQs page.

Round 4

On 10 June 2018, the Australian Government announced it had allocated $25 million of Mobile Black Spot Program funding towards a fourth round, to deliver improved mobile coverage to more regional and remote communities across Australia.

On 15 October 2018, the Government released the Guidelines for Round 4, and called for applications from Mobile Network Operators and Infrastructure Providers to deliver improved mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia. The Guidelines for the Round 4 competitive assessment process are published on GrantConnect

Applicants will have until 10 December 2018 to submit applications for funding. The Round 4 rollout is expected to commence early 2019.

Additional information about Round 4 is available on the Mobile Black Spot Program's FAQs page.

Program Update - October 2018

The Mobile Black Spot Program is well over halfway complete and is delivering improved coverage outcomes and benefits to the Australian community with more than  600 base stations already activated (as at 15 October 2018). 

All base stations funded under the first three rounds of the program are scheduled to be operational by 30 June 2019.

Information about the expected timing for individual base stations can be found on the mobile network operators' (Optus, Telstra and Vodafone) websites.

Base station delays

Due to a range of external factors outside of the direct control of the mobile network operators, some base stations have experienced delays and require additional time in order to be delivered.

Additional information on delays can be found on the Mobile Black Spot Program's FAQs page.

Base stations that are no longer required or cannot be built

Under the program there are a small number of planned base stations that cannot be built at the original scheduled location. In these cases the mobile network operator will explore all options to deliver new and improved coverage to the original planned area including investigating alternative sites.

There are also a small number of base stations that are no longer required to be built as coverage is now being delivered by one or more base stations nearby. In these cases the funding for the original base station has been used to fund an alternative site.

Further information, including a list of alternative sites and a list of base stations that will no longer be built under the Program, is available on the Mobile Black Spot Program's FAQs page.

Contacts

Email: mobilecoverage [at] communications.gov.au
Mobile Black Spot Program
GPO Box 2154
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Additional information and resources

Round 1 funded base stations

Round 2 funded base stations

Government Priority Locations

Round 4

  • The Round 4 Grant Guidelines are available on GrantConnect

Mobile black spot location database