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Coalition Commits $60 M For Mobile Blackspots

The federal Coalition will invest an additional $60 million in the Mobile Black Spot Programme if re-elected, it has today pledged.

A joint media release from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash states that the new investment will bring the Coalition’s total investment in eliminating mobile blackspots to $220 million.

“A re-elected Turnbull government will invest an additional $60 million to cover blackspot locations that have not previously received funding under the program, as well as locations that have been overlooked by mobile network operators because they are uncommercial,” the release states.

“This new commitment will improve mobile coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems, such as areas with high seasonal demand.

“We expect Commonwealth funding will again leverage investment from mobile network operators, state governments, local governments, businesses and community organisations.”

Vodafone had earlier this month called for more mobile blackspot funding, calling on voters to utilise social media to draw attention to “the urgent need for more funding for mobile blackspots” ahead of the federal election.

Vodafone had stated that it was urging voters in regional seats to take to social media, with Vodafone chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd having stated that “now is the time for regional communities to send a clear message that they deserve a better deal on mobile telecommunications”.

The government had committed $100 million through round one of the program, delivering 499 new and upgraded mobile base stations across Australia, with round two, launched earlier in the year, seeing a further $60 million committed.

Locations to be funded under round two are expected to be announced in the second half of the year.

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