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 $380 million to the Mobile Black Spot Program (the Program) to invest in telecommunications infrastructure to improve mobile coverage and competition across Australia.

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

Under the first four rounds of the Program (Round 1, Round 2 , the Priority Locations Round and Round 4), the Government's commitment has generated investment of more than $760 million, delivering a total of 1,047 new base stations across Australia.

On 20 March 2019 as part of the Government's response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review $160.0 million in funding was allocated to rounds 5 and 6 of this highly successful program.

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 5

Applications for Round 5 of the Program closed on 26 September 2019, with applications now being competitively assessed on a base station-by-base station basis. The outcomes of Round 5 are expected to be announced in early 2020, with base stations anticipated to roll out shortly afterwards.

For further information about Round 5 see the Mobile Black Spot Program's FAQs page.

Round 6

The Government has committed $80 million for Round 6 of the Program. Round 6 is expected to commence after the Round 5 process is complete.

Program update—October 2019

The Mobile Black Spot Program is delivering improved coverage outcomes and benefits to the Australian community with 748 base stations already activated as at 4 October 2019.

Base stations funded under the first four rounds of the Program are scheduled to be operational by 30 June 2020.

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

Round 5

The Round 5 Grant Guidelines are available on GrantConnect

Mobile black spot location database