In June 2015, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced round 1 of the Australian Government Mobile Black Spot Programme, a program designed to improve mobile phone coverage and competition in regional and remote Australia. Telstra and Vodafone were both awarded grants under the program and 60 weeks later, Telstra has just switched on their 60th base station.
The purpose of the Mobile Black Spot Programme is to have Vodafone and Telstra install base stations with both 3G and 4G service to areas normally associated with poor reception.
Telstra recently switched on a 3G/4G base station in Woolomin in New South Wales, but will rollout 429 3G/4G mobile base stations across 400 communities over the next three years. Telstra will also be rolling out up to 250 4G small cells which will provide high speed mobile internet to a number of rural and regional communities under the program.
Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, Mike Wright said
As the carrier with the nation’s largest mobile footprint and the first to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia, we are proud to be involved in a programme that is expanding coverage even further. This is another example of Telstra’s ability to work with governments at all levels to deliver innovative programmes that expand mobile services to regional and rural Australia.
The current list of 60 stations includes sites in NSW, South Australia, QLD and Victoria (sorry NT and TAS). The progress of the Telstra side of the Mobile Black Spot Programme can be viewed on the Telstra website, the list of 60 sites switched on so far includes:
- Blue Mountains National Park South
- Colo Heights
- Darbys Falls
- Boonah Rathdowney Road, between Boonah and Rathdowney
- Burnett Highway, between Rockhampton and Biloela
- Clarke Creek
- Currumbin Creek Road
- Kin Kin
- Mount Mee
- Quilpie, Diamantina Developmental Road
- Austins Hill
- Carlisle River
- Marnoo B
- Pigeon Ponds
- Saint Andrews
- Sandy Point
- Sheep Hills