Latest round of mobile Blackspots program sees Telstra get funding for 131 sites

The Federal Government gets a lot of things wrong, but one program that actually has a meaningful impact on people’s lives is the Mobile Blackspot Program.

This program is now in its 4th round of funding and Telstra has been awarded funding to eliminate mobile coverage blackspots at 131 locations.

Typically these sites don’t make commercial sense to rollout network infrastructure to, so by the Government (and therefore the tax payer) assisting in funding, Telstra will expand to remote and regional areas across NSW, VIC, QLD, WA and SA.

Round 4 will see a mixture of new mobile base stations and small cells, contributing $23.3 million of the $55.6 million co-investment required for the new sites. The Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian State Governments are contributing a combined $14.3 million and the Commonwealth is contributing $18 million.

Over the life of the Mobile Black Spot Program, Telstra has delivered more than 550 new mobile base stations across Australia. Having connectivity where previously none was available, enables people to live and work in locations, while still being connected.

A small cell is a miniature version of a standard mobile base station and Telstra is using the technology to cost effectively deliver 4G coverage to areas where existing coverage is minimal or not available.

Mobile coverage means people and businesses in regional and remote communities can do things many in the city take for granted. Whether it is streaming sports, movies and television, working remotely or just staying in touch.

Telstra Chief Executive Andy Penn.

Key points

  • Telstra is contributing $23.3 million of the $55.6 million co-investment required for the new sites.
  • Over the five years to June 2019, Telstra’s total mobile network investment will total around $8 billion, of which almost $3 billion will have been invested in regional areas.
  • Telstra has to date delivered more than 550 new mobile base stations across Australia under the MBSP.
  • The Mobile Black Spot Program is an example of the effectiveness of Government partnering with the private sector to deliver benefits for communities.
  • Telstra’s mobile network is supported by more than 9,900 mobile base stations covering more than 2.5 million square kilometres and reaching 99.5% of the Australian population.
  • Telstra was ranked Australia’s best mobile operator in both the P3 and Systemics mobile benchmark surveys (December 2018)

In terms of how many blackspots are being addressed in each state, the following state by state breakdown details what will be delivered in round 4 of the MBSP.

StateNumber of new sites to be delivered
New South Wales49
South Australia19
Western Australia23
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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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