SPEED DIAL: Georgie Somerset from AgForce said that a reliable phone service is vital in rural communities.
SPEED DIAL: Georgie Somerset from AgForce said that a reliable phone service is vital in rural communities. Katherine Morris

Improved mobile range for rural communities

MORE communities across regional and remote Australia will receive new or improved mobile coverage, under a fourth round of the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot Program.

The new round will focus on driving improved outcomes for regional businesses and residents, tourism, health, education and emergency services.

Mobile network operators will have an opportunity in the second half of this year to apply for round four funding through a competitive tender process.

Input will also be sought from community organisations and state and local government to ensure black spot locations that will provide strong economic benefits are considered.

The program is making steady progress and is already well over half way complete and on track to deliver 867 base stations nationwide by June 2019.

The announcement by the Federal Government has been welcomed by Queensland rural organisation, AgForce.

AgForce Telecommunications Committee Chair Georgie Somerset said the need for more affordable and reliable phone and internet services is one of the biggest issues for people living, working and travelling in the bush.

"Phone and internet services are an economic and social lifeline for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders and need to be more reliable and affordable.

"The fourth round consists of $25 million which has been re-purposed from existing programs to improve coverage in black spot areas across regional Australia.” she said.


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