According to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP., “It doesn’t matter where you live – all Australians deserve access to reliable mobile coverage. Connectivity remains a key issue for rural and regional communities, which more acutely experience Australia’s tyranny of distance compared to people living in our cities.
In the electorate of Mayo, for example, Labor has already delivered on commitments to boost mobile coverage and fibre NBN. This includes a $1.5 million investment in Rapid Bay and Cudlee Creek to ensure local homes and businesses have more reliable connectivity.
The Albanese Government’s Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia will provide $400 million over five years to expand regional mobile coverage along highways and roads and in underserviced regional communities. It will also support telecommunications resilience, such as preparing mobile base stations for natural disasters with additional power sources.
The 2022-23 Budget confirmed the multi-purpose fund which will be delivered over five years.
Poor mobile coverage, particularly along major roads, has long been a concern of regional communities, as has patchy coverage from a complex web of different operators. Last year’s Regional Telecommunications Review highlighted both issues as key concerns of regional stakeholders. The commitment to expand multi-carrier mobile coverage goes to addressing this.
The Albanese Labor Government has committed $2.2 billion to regional connectivity in the budget, including $1.1bn for NBN fibre upgrades for at least 660,000 regional premises. The Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia commits a further $1.1bn to regional communications including $656 million in new measures which will deliver our full pre-election commitments. Other measures include:
$200 million to run further rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program to fund a broad range of place-based communications solutions,
$30 million to expand on-farm connectivity and drive productivity through machine to machine networks,
$20 million to complete an independent audit of mobile coverage to see where the true black spots really are, and;
$6 million to extend the Regional Tech Hub which provides expert advice to regional customers on how to connect and stay connected.
Regional communities across Australia will also benefit from $40 million for a dedicated round of the Mobile Black Spot Program, $39.1 million for new rounds of the Peri Urban Mobile Program (PUMP), and $4.7 million of funding for NBN to provide free Internet for up to 30,000 connected families.
These investments will deliver on the Albanese Government’s commitments to better connect more Australian families, businesses and communities than ever before.
For more information on the Better Connectivity Plan visit Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia | Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts