Is your town one of the thousands with poor mobile coverage?

AUSTRALIANS have nominated more than 6000 locations across regional, remote and outer metropolitan areas of the nation as having inadequate mobile coverage.

Those affected can now apply for funding to increase telecommunication services under the Federal Government's $100 million Mobile Black Spot Program.

The program aims to improve mobile coverage along major transport routes, in small communities, locations prone to experiencing natural disasters as well as addressing mobile coverage problems in areas with high seasonal demand.

Communications Minister parliamentary secretary Paul Fletcher said on Tuesday it was important to understand that although 6000 locations had been nominated it did not mean all locations required a new base station.

"The government's $100 million will be allocated through a competitive selection process under which Telstra, Optus and Vodafone as well as specialist mobile infrastructure providers will nominate locations drawn from the 6000 on the database where they would build a new or enhanced mobile base station," he said.

"The process is expected to leverage at least an additional $100 million in investment from bidding parties, state governments and local councils.

"Following this competitive selection process the government expects that between 250 and 300 new mobile phone base stations will be built around the country."

The first base stations funded under the initiative are expected to be rolled out later next year.

For more information go to http://www.communications.gov.au.

- APN NEWSDESK



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