Telstra’s rollout of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) is ramping up even further with 148 new mobile base stations allocated under round two of the project now added to its rollout schedule.
The addition of the round two locations to the rollout schedule brings Telstra’s total number of new sites under the program to 577, generating $490 million worth of co-investment in rural and regional Australia.
Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, Mike Wright, said providing state of the art telecommunication services to more parts of regional Australia was a key priority for Telstra.
“We know that increased mobile coverage is important for people in rural and regional Australia and we have a strong commitment and a clear plan to deliver that for them,” Mr Wright said.
“Under the Mobile Black Spot Program, we are activating a new mobile base station every two days on average since we launched our 100th site earlier this year, and our rollout ramps up even further with the addition of these 148 sites.
“Significant work is already occurring behind the scenes, including design planning, community consultations, the formulation and development of planning applications and working with local councils to get the best outcome for everybody.
“We worked closely with the Federal and contributing State Governments to develop the schedule and we look forward to delivering state of the art mobile services to even more communities soon.”
The additional 148 mobile base station sites have been added to Telstra’s Mobile Black Spot Site Locator – a comprehensive but simple tool that lets people search for mobile base stations being rolled out in their area and provides information about expected timing.
Minister for Regional Communications and Deputy Nationals Leader Fiona Nash welcomed the ramp up of the Mobile Black Spot Program’s rollout.
“Too many country people know what it’s like to stand on the back of a ute waving a mobile phone around trying to get mobile signal,” Minister Nash said.
“I’m proud to be part of the government which acted to improve rural and regional mobile coverage. It’s great news for the 32,000 homes and businesses receiving new and improved coverage and it’s great for Australia.”
Wright said the growing number of communities that are benefitting from improved coverage under the MBSP demonstrated that the current regulatory settings, combined with public and private co-investment, was the most effective way to continue to expand mobile coverage in the bush.
“The ACCC’s recent draft decision not to impose regulated mobile roaming clearly recognised the overwhelming call from stakeholders and communities in regional Australia to maintain regulatory settings that encourage investment in more coverage and technology upgrades,” he said.
“Last year Telstra committed to keep investing to improve and expand our mobile network in regional, rural and remote areas. Through our own direct investment, as well as co-investment, we expect to see up to $1 billion of investment flow to small towns and regional centres across the country over the next five years.”